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Feb-19-2008 14:06printcomments

Slur Leads to Boycott of TV Show Big Brother

The United Autism Foundation continues to prominently feature its relationship with Jasinski, offering for sale only items that are connected with him and his appearance on Big Brother.

Adam Jasinski
Adam Jasinski has Big Brother in Hot Water

(CLEARWATER, Fla.) - Family Network on Disabilities of Florida, Inc. is calling today for a boycott of the CBS show "Big Brother" because of the actions of one of its contestants in using a slur against persons with disabilities.

Adam Jasinski, who identifies himself as doing public relations work for the United Autism Foundation, refers to persons with autism as "r*t**ds" and, when called on it by another contestant, repeatedly defends his actions.

Immediately after his use of the slur, he states "I can call them whatever I want. I work with them all day long, okay?" He then turns to another contestant and says "I'm not saying anything offensive, right or wrong, bro." He goes on to state that "I don't think I said anything bad" and "I say what I mean and that's it."

According to FND's Executive Director, Rich La Belle: "CBS intentionally chose this piece, from all of the other footage of all the contestants, to broadcast on national television. We are calling for a boycott because neither CBS nor the Big Brother producers placed this incident in any context or offered an apology for Jasinski's extremely offensive comments. They simply treated it like just another part of the entertainment on the show - more controversy to spice things up. If Jasinski had used a racial slur, I'm positive they would not have done this. This particular word is the equivalent of a racial slur against persons with disabilities. CBS should not have broadcast this or, if they chose to, they should have pointed it out for what it is. Regardless of how far Jasinski makes it in this show, we are encouraging all persons with disabilities, their families, friends, and all persons who believe in fairness and equality to boycott this show until CBS issues a formal apology."

FND is also calling on the United Autism Foundation to immediately repudiate Jasinski's statements and to cut all ties with him. Says La Belle: "If you truly believe in the rights of persons with disabilities, you can't keep associating with this guy."

As of this writing, the website of the United Autism Foundation continues to prominently feature its relationship with Jasinski, offering for sale only items that are connected with him and his appearance on Big Brother.

La Belle states: "This has got to stop. Persons with disabilities deserve an apology for this - not to be used as a ratings booster."

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stillsomad March 14, 2008 5:10 pm (Pacific time)

The buzz died but the hurt remains.So many families were affected by this slur. People say let it go. I can't...that slur has set back the Autism community in huge proportions. I emailed CBS promptly and received no response. A simple "we are sorry, dumb move on our part" would have been enough for me. No reply a month later. But who the hell am I. Just some Mom with a 6 yr old boy with SEVERE AUTISM. With a family that is falling apart. There are power in numbers. I have never watched the show...no entertainment value whatsoever. I tuned in the last month only to compile a list of sponsors. (I change the channel when the show comes back on): Garnier, Kohl's, Bertolli, Nasonex, JC Penney, AT&T, Dunkin Donuts, Macy's, Wendy's, KMart, Maybelline. This is just a few of them. CBS should get it were it hurts the most -boycott sponsors. I am... who is with me? If this had been a racial slur it would still be in the media. I am tired of having dirt kicked in my face. Just fed up.

Anne February 22, 2008 11:29 am (Pacific time)

Of course CBS aired the comments. Let's not forgot that the premise of the show is locking a bunch of misfits together in a house and watching the choas that ensues. The juiciest parts of what's recorded 24/7 make it onto TV, because who wants to watch them sit around and play parcheesi? CBS didn't put the words in this guy's mouth, and I'm sure the fine print in the credits reads that the opinions expressed during the show do not necessarily reflect that of CBS et al. This Adam guy's clearly a jerk, but we all have a right to choose not to watch this nonsense. This news only solidifies what was already obvious to me from what little promotion of seen of this show -- it's trash, so change the channel, friends.

Hawaii Guy February 20, 2008 10:31 pm (Pacific time)

Yeah, you people can ignore others or you can say what you feel. But to boycott a TV show for such a benign reason is ignorant. If you don't like the show, OK.

M Gomez February 20, 2008 6:07 pm (Pacific time)

Aspie Mom I think you are right on when it comes to boycotting. That is the most effective way to change bad behavior and it is the most benign and democratic way also. Stay tuned

Aspie Mom February 20, 2008 3:49 pm (Pacific time)

If they are entitled to air this on television. I am entitled to voice my opinion and right to boycott what I feel is wrong. Hurray for free speech. It works both ways. Goodbye Big Brother. We won't be watching or buying.

M Gomez February 20, 2008 2:39 pm (Pacific time)

I noticed that the governor of California used the term "girly-boy" and it was accepted as humorous, though maybe it offended some people, but that's life, we cannot accomodate everyone's sensitivities in our society as it is today. I guess it's all in the eye/ear of the beholder. Me thinks people often overreact to what others do and say, but then ignore their own rudeness and short-sightedness. I pray for strength and guideness that I can avoid that behavior, for being judgemental of others is something I prefer not to do. The world is already full of boorish busybodies so why add to that population.

Henry Ruark February 20, 2008 8:43 am (Pacific time)

Abusive language is just that: "expressing offensive reproach" (Nisus Dictionary) It has no ethical place in any public-performed situation and little proper use even in private conversation. "Big Brother" name for show is entirely ironic in these circumstances; and action to make sure it is ended and the perpetrator suffers proper pain for such abuse is, for me, entirely justified. Readers here should be open to understanding after recent demonstration of same process used here for private personal political persuasions, with such terms as "girly boy", "demented", "No-DOer", et al, et al, et al, with no connection whatsoever to issue or situation being discussed. Such obvious ad hominem attack tactics have no place in public performance OR open, honest, democratic dialog, as in this channel.

BigMama February 20, 2008 7:57 am (Pacific time)

In response to Hawaii Guy's comment...There is a HUGE difference between the words retarded and retard. Retarded is, in fact a clinical term. However, retard is a slang term that has no positive connotaions at all.

JennyMac February 20, 2008 7:54 am (Pacific time)

I think it was great that CBS aired his comments. Now we know his true colors AND it brought national attention to the epidemic of autism. Although I'm no fan of Autism United (the organization out of NY who initially demanded an apology from CBS), they did the autism comminity a favor by sending out the press release. Luckily it was picked up by the AP and run nationally. Adam better hope he stays in that Big Brother hamster cage for a long time because when he comes out he will be in for one big crap storm! For the record, I've heard from the president of the foundation that Adam supposedly works for and not only does he no longer work there (was fired after a few weeks) he was never a PR Rep. He was a sales rep in their call center calling people during dinner asking for donations-basically a telemarketer. AND, the resume he submitted to the foundation listed CBS' Big Brother/Advertising Sales Rep as one of his previous employers. HAAA! Also, the UNIAF has removed the "adam" products from their website and posted a weak apology. Talk about marginalizing the subject. The next several weeks should prove interesting. I can't imagine the embarassment his family must feel by his ignorance.

Steve February 20, 2008 5:26 am (Pacific time)

That’s just it, this guy is a jerk. No reason to start an anti-discrimination movement over it.

Hawaii Guy February 19, 2008 8:21 pm (Pacific time)

I remember when people were called retarded and it meant what it means, somewhat behind. I also remember when you could use the term Negro to refer to black people. How come Cops no longer is negative, but accepted, when it used to be derogatory against police, but we have to keep learning new terms and what old terms are now bad? Autistic people may not be retarded, since the defect has nothing to do with IQ. But that is not the point of the article. People got mad for this guy's use of retard. Now THAT is retarded! Personally, I believe more in the right to free speech.

James Spier February 19, 2008 5:20 pm (Pacific time)

I have a son that is Autistic. Not only is my son functional, but he would probably beat this guy in an IQ test.. Working with a group of people gives no special permissions to be abusive. The man was wrong and the network should have not shown that piece.

Albert Marnell February 19, 2008 3:28 pm (Pacific time)

I think that people are dumbed down and they are not Autistic. What a jerk this guy is.

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