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‘Big Brother’ Slur Controversy Addressed by Global Down Syndrome Foundation (Exclusive)
The foundation said in a statement to The Messenger that it hopes Jared Fields “will reflect upon his words” and “educate himself”
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is speaking out about Big Brother contestant Jared Fields calling a housemate the R-word. Fields, who apologized for his use of the word, remains on the show.
“At the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, we are grateful for the freedoms we have in the US – including freedom of speech,” the organization’s President & CEO Michelle Sie Whitten tells The Messenger in an exclusive statement.
She adds, “We ALSO believe there are words that we are free to use, but as a society choose not to use, because they are so directly tied to violence against a vulnerable population.”
“We would argue the “R-Word” is such a word – witness Willowbrook, N.Y. to Pueblo, Colo. today,” continued Whitten. “Arguably, the best essay on this subject is written by GLOBAL board member and renowned actor, John C. McGinley, whose son, Max, has Down syndrome.”
She concludes, “Because of how the R-word and other derogatory and demeaning words hurt people with Down syndrome, and others who are differently-abled, we must use these moments to advocate and educate. To this end, we sincerely hope that Jared Fields will reflect upon his words, educate himself regarding the many abilities that people with Down syndrome have. Better yet, we hope he has the chance to meet awesome people with Down syndrome.”
Amid calls for Fields to be removed, he returned on Sunday night’s episode of the CBS reality competition series.
Friday, on the show’s live feeds, Fields was overheard using the “R-word” when describing another contestant’s strategy and later said, “I don’t think she’s the R-word. I slipped up. Obviously, I was angry about it [and] I’m willing to admit that.”
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Author: Cole Wilkes
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