Media commission slams local TV for “stereotyping” disability

The Media Commission on Monday described a comedy segment recently aired by a private local television station as “offensive” to persons with disabilities and said it promotes stereotypes about this social group.


The commission said in a statement that it has been following up on what it called “a public outcry stirred by the content,” which it said, carries an offense against persons with disabilities, adding that the segment “establishes stereotypes” about the disabled in violation of the 2017 Disabled Law.


“Although the clarification made by the station is a goodwill gesture, we reaffirm that the right of permissible criticism does not mean violating human dignity and exploiting people with disabilities to level political criticism,” the committee stressed.


Yesterday, the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD) issued a statement in which it said that the comedy program “caricatured the disabled, particularly the blind and deaf, to criticize certain matters related to public affairs.”


“The program, which was aired on Thursday, portrayed the blind and deaf in a ludicrous fashion, using disability to suggest negative indicators from the point of view of the TV staff members,” the council added.


The HCD said it sees such behavior as “a major retreat toward a racist and unacceptable practice, which hurts the feelings of persons with disabilities, their families, friends and loved ones. This behavior would harm Jordan’s international standing with regard to respecting human rights, especially those related to persons with disabilities and their dignity,” the council indicated.


It called on media professionals, artists and creative people to harness their intellectual and creative product to promote a culture of diversity, respect and acceptance of others, and to look at how other countries deal with this broad segment of the society.


The council said it is fully prepared to provide knowledge and technical support to any media outlet or professional on communications etiquette with the disabled and how to tackle their issues and rights in the media domain.


Source: Jordan News Agency

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