George Takei Apologizes for Posting Ableist Meme
As I talked about in my last entry, Star Trek star and Internet sensation George Takei has been taking a lot of heat for posting the ableist meme pictured right. A woman is standing up from her wheelchair to get a bottle of liquor off of a high shelf in a short, and the caption is “There Has Been a Miracle in the Alcohol Aisle”.
George Takei said himself that he didn’t expect the reaction that the meme generated. Disabled people were swift to point out, both on his Facebook page and in the blogosphere (myself included, obviously) that it not only gives an inaccurate picture of the physical capabilities of many wheelchair users, it also reinforces negative stereotypes of disabled people. However, he also said that we wouldn’t be taking the meme down and asked people who were upset by it to “take it down a notch”.
I really like George Takei, and was quite shocked by the way he dug in his heels on this one. I figured that a man who works so passionately to reduce racism and homophobia would just see, after reading the response the meme, that this was an abilism issue and act accordingly. I actually stopped following his page on Facebook, which wasn’t easy, because I really do like him.
Which I why I nearly missed this last night, so thank you, Robin, for pointing it out to me:
Very Classy, George Takei
This is so much different than the “I’m sorry your feelings were hurt” non-apologies that come from celebrities these days. Thank you, George Takei. I am following your page again.
I did read some of the comments on his post though (because apparently I just needed to ruin a good moment, lol), and of the ones I read, the majority were that people that had not found the meme funny needed to get a sense of humour, that political correctness was ruining the country, “back before the thot police ran the world this would have been okay”, yada yada yada. I get tired of reading responses like this. I’m pretty good about laughing at myself, but I don’t get this insistence on how I’m the bad person if I don’t find something funny that’s personally insulting.
Hmm…maybe it’s time to tackle this subject again…