NAMI StigmaBuster Alert: June 1, 2005
It's A Crime
On June 2, CBS-TV repeats an April 28 episode, entitled "Committed," of the top-rated television show "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." It features an investigation in a state mental hospital filled with violent patients and sex offenders. Many StigmaBusters found it extremely offensive the first time around.
Watch the show (9PM ET). Judge for yourself. Then ask the show's producers to rise to a higher standard in the future:
- The episode was grossly unfair and inaccurate; with offensive dialogue and language; serving only to perpetuate stigma. The actual connection of mental illness to violence in society is very small.
- In future episodes, please show positive portrayals of people with mental illness that eliminate stereotypes and reflect themes of courage and recovery.
- Share a short personal anecdote.
CSI Executive Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer
Director/Writer: Richard Lewis
Story: Sarah Goldfinger & Uttam Narsus
CBS/CSI Web Site Comments:
Click Feedback at very bottom; then in the box that appears, choose "Crime Scene Investigation" as the category.
NBC –TV has cancelled the series "Committed," which earlier this year featured an outrageous portrayal of a "crazy mother" played by Valerie Harper, who was committed to a "mental spa". (See February 17 Alert)
A successful petition drive, lead by an 11 year old boy recently persuaded Warner Brothers Entertainment to change new, menacing-looking images of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and other classic characters planned for a Saturday morning "Loonatics Unleashed" cartoon series set in the year 2772 (See March 15 Alert).
Now all that's needed is changing the name. Words matter "Loonatics" is traditionally an offensive, dismissive term for people with mental illnesses that reinforces stigma and devaluation.
Television shapes perceptions. WB's "programming" of kids on Saturday mornings is particularly troublesome. Send a message or a petition signed by others to WB making the following points:
- Please drop "Loonatics" and "Loonatics Unleashed" as the name for the new Looney Tunes cartoon series.
- You listened to an 11-year-old. Now please listen to people with mental illnesses and their families.
- Don't program offensive slang and stigma to kids.
- Don't encourage schoolyard taunts.
Warner Brothers Entertainment
4000 Warner Boulevard, Building 34R
Burbank, CA 91522
WB Animation Division
Stella March, National Coordinator
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