Piss and Vinegar! That is what my husband said I was full of yesterday as he kissed me goodnight and left me at the computer. He knew I was too worked up to go to bed. After writing the post I wrote yesterday, I felt compelled to do more. So I tweeted and posted and screamed and yelled (via my writing of course) and then sent the email I wrote below. I felt better and relaxed some and was able to go to sleep.
This morning, I read a different post and found out that it seems that Mr. Germain was not alone. Some other reviewers have made some other comments although none of them I think have the same nasty bite that Germain’s has. Read this to see what I mean. Once again I was filled with piss and vinegar!
Here is the thing… I am not alone. Although there are those that may feel that I am being overly sensitive, there are even more who feel the same I do. I guess the email I sent to the AP last night sums up my whole thinking on it all. So I will post this email along with the address I sent it too. My hope is that you copy this email or write you own. Lets flood the inbox of the AP and let them know that we will not let our autistic loved ones be disrespected. I hope you will join me in raise your voice as well.
The email address is: Film@ap.org
To Whom It May Concern,
It saddens me to have to write an email like this. As the mother of an autistic child I have enough battles on my hand, and certainly do not need to take on any more. But I recently read a comment made by one of your AP writers that I just can not let go. When an established writer like Mr. David Germain makes a comment in a very public review that has been picked up and ran all over the word, a review that is both offensive and just plain disturbing to the entire Autistic Community, something has to be done. So I am writing to you and I ask, no I beg, for the sake of the estimated 3 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide who have autism a retraction and apology from Mr. Germain.
What exactly is it that we, as a community, find offensive? This is the statement we are referring to which appeared in his recent review of the movie Extremely LOUD Incredibly CLOSE.
“Newcomer Thomas Horn, the 13-year-old star who was cast after the filmmakers saw him on a “Jeopardy!” kids episode, is a mixed bag, holding his own among the adult actors but, through no fault of his own, forced to behave with excessive shrillness much of the time.
That’s because his character, Oskar Schell, may or may not have Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism (his medical tests, we’re told, were inconclusive). You make allowances in life for people you encounter with autism, but spending two hours with a fictional character possessing autistic qualities can be grating.“
Perhaps Germain makes “allowances” for the autism people in his life, but the autism community refuses to do the same about his ignorant and extremely insensitive comment. I am sure he would not even think about writing that he makes “allowances” about a movie character’s race or sexual orientation. The public outrage over that type of comment would be tremendous. The autism community may not be as big as others, but none the less, we too our outraged and offended by this.
Every day I wake up and hope that TODAY, Today is the day that the world will see my boy for who he is and not just a label. Today is the day that he will be accepted, understood or at least tolerated. With reviews and comments like the ones that Mr. Germain made lingering out there, well that day is further away. Please, I ask that you retract this review and demand that Mr. Germaine make amends for his complete lack of compassion and respect. My son and all the others out there deserve it.