About a month ago I wrote an entry about how I thought Fox's show, Glee, was not sensitive to people with disabilities. I was offended by some of the things they said about "special ed kids", "mongoloids", as well as insensitive comments about other disabilities. Well, I'd considered boycotting the show, but for some reason, got sucked in.
Last night's episode has redeemed the show for me! I was so surprised to find that what I thought was offensive had now become a show working hard to break through stereotypes and make the viewers aware of the struggles some go through. The entire Glee club spent the whole week in wheelchairs to try to understand what one member of the group experiences on a daily basis. The Glee club quickly realized how difficult his life is and experienced the prejudice he lives with. They then introduced a girl with Down syndrome. The coach of the cheerleading squad (a very harsh, insensitive, guarded character) was forced to hold open auditions. After the girl with Ds stumbled through her audition, the "Cheerios" coach tells her she made the squad. This part made me a little nervous, thinking the coach was going to show her insensitivity again. I actually watched the rest of the show with a bit of anxiety and anticipation, just expecting to be offended. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to watch this cruel cheerleading coach soften as she walked in to visit her older sister who had Down syndrome. Her facade melted away and she lit up as she sat next to her sister's bed and proceeded to read a story to her.
This show may actually have a chance to raise awareness and change perceptions about Down syndrome and other challenges.
I stand corrected and humbled.