Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quick hit: Et Tu, Cho?

So, today I saw a plug for Autism Speaks on Margaret Cho's facebook page. Specifically, supporting the damn Gold Bunny. If you enter, you may win one signed by her. I'm bloody used to celebrities betraying me by supporting Autism Speaks. The biggest hurt of all was that awful "I am Autism" video made by Alfonso Cuaron, one of my favourite directors. -sigh-
So here is what I wrote on Margaret Cho's link to the contest. If she actually looks at her facebook page, I hope she considers my words:

Margaret, I love you, and I'm a big fan of yours. I'm also autistic, and I'm BEGGING YOU not to support Autism Speaks. They're hated and reviled in the autism community for using pity-baiting and not having any autistic representation on their board of directors or positions of power, which is radically outside of the norm of disability activism. Autism Speaks thoroughly defies the model of "Nothing about us without us."
They're also just a crappy charity. They're not recommended by the Better Business Bureau, and only 7 cents of every dollar donated to them goes to helping autistic families.
Please, if you want to support an autism related charity, consider the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, The Easter Seals, or the Autism Society of America. NOT Autism Speaks. I'm autistic, and Autism Speaks doesn't speak for me.
Here's to hoping, but I'm not that optimistic. That's my teaspoon for today. If I can get one celebrity to stop supporting the horribleness that is Autism Speaks, I'll upgrade myself from teaspoon to tablespoon for today. :-)


  1. The nasty Autism Speaks project has managed to sell itself very well. Many wonderful, perfectly reasonable people have been duped into believing that supporting this project translates into supporting autistics. Which, of course, couldn't be further from the truth. I like Cho too, and I really hope she reconsiders her support for this scam.

  2. I hope so, too. So far, the feedback on the link from other fans of Cho has been positive, in the vein of "Wow, I didn't know that, thank you for telling me."
    If I hear a sentiment like that from Cho herself, then I am going to do a frigging backflip.

  3. I had no idea about this! Amazing letter, Leah Jane, and I sincerely hopes Cho replies.

    Go ahead and make it a tablespoon for the day, because it looks like you've reached quite a few people with this one!

  4. Hey, Leah Jane!

    I just had a similar experience on a smaller scale - another seller on Etsy whose stuff I had been browsing admiringly was offering a puzzle-piece necklace whose proceeds would all go to Autism Speaks. I wrote what I hope comes off as a polite, nicely-worded private message to her explaining the problem; we'll see what develops from here ...

  5. Good luck, Lindsay. I hope that the seller realizes the gravity of the situation and reconsiders.