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Feb-25-2008 21:34printcomments

Group Applauds Retailer for Pulling Ads From Big Brother

The group says their call for a boycott will continue until CBS apologizes.

Adam Jasinski
Adam Jasinski

(CLEARWATER, Fla.) - Family Network on Disabilities of Florida (FND) is today applauding the action of Lowe’s, the home improvement company. Lowe’s announced that they are pulling their advertising from the CBS show Big Brother because of the use of a slur against persons with disabilities by one of the contestants.

Rich La Belle, Executive Director of FND, stated: "Thank you, Lowe’s, for being a great corporate citizen and taking this courageous action."

The contestant Adam Jasinski, who claimed to be doing public relations work for the United Autism Foundation, refered to persons with autism as "r*t**ds" and, when called on it by another contestant, he 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."

La Belle went on to repeat FND’s call for an apology from CBS: "This show is not a news event that CBS is reporting on. They have complete control over what appears on the air. After all, why do you think they have so many people listed as ‘editors’ and ‘assistant editors’ and ‘segment producers’? Editors are the definition of control – they control what comes out and what gets left in, just like this slur was left in."

La Belle stated: "The airwaves are owned by we, the people. They’re a public trust and CBS has to be held accountable for allowing this on the air. If this had been a racial slur, CBS would have taken immediate action, like they’ve done in the past. All we’re asking for here is a simple apology. How hard can that be?"

Advertisers and sponsors of the Big Brother episode during which the slur against persons with disabilities was used include some of the biggest household names in the country: Macy’s, Honda, K Mart, Nickelodeon Movies, Winn Dixie, Slim Fast, Quiznos, Pet Smart, Applebee’s, Stouffer’s, V8, JC Penny, Circuit City, Denny’s, Taco Bell, Kohl’s, Visa, Bertolli, Zales, Dell, and Vaseline.

According to La Belle: "I think it’s ironic that CBS ran a PSA for HIV awareness during this particular episode and ended the spot with a logo saying ‘CBS Cares.’ They need to show people with disabilities and their families that CBS cares about them, too."

La Belle stated that FND’s call for a boycott will continue until CBS apologizes. "The advertisers and sponsors of Big Brother and CBS should do what Lowe’s did. They should listen to their customers, employees, and viewers who are persons with disabilities and their families. They should do the right thing, just like Lowe’s."



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Marmalade July 8, 2013 2:41 pm (Pacific time)

ALL advertisers should be pulling their support from this show! This was really mean spirited and truly done with racism in mind. If Deen gets fired from everything for something she said in private years go, in comparison - THIS IS TRUE RACISM!!!

Henry Ruark February 29, 2008 9:57 am (Pacific time)

To all: LaBelle's statement about the overriding authority of editors and producers on every word to be uttered in such a show is right on the money. "Right on the money" here refers to the major reason they are so sensitive to precisely such situations --it can, does and should cost the advertisers dearly when such egregious statement is allowed or overlooked --with any such "overlooking" resulting in rapid leave-taking by the careless or insentive person allowing it to happen "on air" and thus on public record. "Free speech" demands responsibility and full accountability as its inevitable, unavoidable costs; clear and intense comment to the networks --and the advertisers directly-- is the best possible response. For the record, this comes from direct experience in production, with two sons still directly engaged in media operations "on air".

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