Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Jessica Lange Has a Lot of Company: The FX series American Horror Story is proving to be quite comment-worthy on my About.com site, with some folks objecting to the way a character with Down syndrome is depicted and treated, some folks saying it's just a TV show and we're supposed to object to the way the character's mother treats her, and some folks glad just to have someone with Down syndrome on TV at all. The "lighten up" contingent points out that the use of the word "mongoloid" is supposed to clue us in that Jessica Lange's character is decades out of date in her thinking ... but you know, it wasn't that long ago that I argued with a high-school English teacher about whether it was proper to put that word on a vocabulary list (I lost). Abortion rates of children with Down syndrome -- and horror stories like this one about the abuse of individuals with intellectual disabilities -- leads me to believe that we are not in the kind of accepting society that can brush off aberrant depictions as all in good fun. At any rate, FX just renewed the show for a second season, so those who have hoped to get rid of it will have to rail against it for another year (assuming the character of Addy stays around, in some form or another).

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