This is utter bullshit.
Once again, money and power rule over common sense, common courtesy and common decency.
And this time…it’s personal.
Jennifer Esposito has celiac disease.
To say she “has” celiac disease is an understatement.
Due to years of crappy doctors and misdiagnoses, she “suffers greatly” from celiac disease.
Mrs. Dude and I met with her this past weekend and her celiac story is nothing short of amazing and heartbreaking.
Jennifer is also an actress and a star of the CBS show Blue Bloods.
Here’s the story:
Jennifer was hired for Blue Bloods to be a part-timer.
With her condition, she knew that is all she would be able to handle and she was totally cool with that; as was CBS.
But because Jennifer is a kick-ass actress and an engaging personality, her role grew as her popularity increased.
She eventually found herself working full-time on the show (with CBS naturally continuing to only pay her part-time salary.)
Jennifer’s health would simply not allow her to work this much.
The asshats at CBS told her she had to.
Eventually, Jennifer collapsed on the set and things came to a boiling point.
CBS is now kicking her off the show.
That’s bad enough…but here is the most vulgar part.
They are spreading lies about her, they are not paying her AND they are blocking her from working elsewhere since she is under contract.
Have I told you how much I hate suits?
Now here is what CBS is saying about the whole incident:
“Jennifer informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule. As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.”
And here is Jennifer’s response:
“CBS put me on unpaid leave and has blocked me from working anywhere else after my doctor said you needed a reduced schedule due to Celiac. CBS didn’t listen to my doc and I collapsed on set. Which everyone saw! After a week off, my doc said I could return to work but CBS implied that I was not truly ill and this was a scheme to get a raise! It’s been almost two months without bringing me back to work + keeping me from working anywhere else! Absolutely shameful behavior.”
That’s right. CBS said she was not truly ill. As in, celiac is not truly a disease.
You want to know what’s truly ill (besides the actions of CBS)? Some people’s comments online about the situation. Here are some samples:
“Tell you what Jennifer, put the bagel down and pick up a steak and you’ll be fine.”
“I’m not following her story here – why did she need a reduced schedule due to celiac disease? It’s not like she had cancer or something. All she has to do is avoid dealing with gluten and she’ll be fine.”
“If she is dealing with her celiac the right way (avoiding glutenous foods and maintaining her health), there is no reason she shouldn’t be able to maintain her career!”
“Elisabeth Hasselbeck has it, and she manages to work five days a week on The View, as well as doing work on other shows such as Good Morning, America.”
(Dude note: Please don’t compare the common celiac to Ms. Hasselbeck. She is all about the FOOD and not about the disease.)
“Unless her bowels have rotted out from celiac, I don’t see any reason she shouldn’t be able to maintain her career. Otherwise, there is no reason she can’t be living her life normally!”
Ahhh…the ignorance in our world never ceases to amaze me.
And this is why Jennifer is putting her energy into being the best celiac advocate possible and it’s why I am right beside her.
We need to get the truth out there about our disease.
And perhaps the injustice that Jennifer is experiencing at the hands of CBS will actually help get our message across.
Celiac is real. Celiac is brutal. Celiac sucks.
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE CAUSE…
- Leave a comment below and I’ll forward all comments to the good folks at CBS.
- If you are on Twitter, tweet your complaints to @BlueBloods_CBS
- If you are on Facebook, post your complaints at http://www.facebook.com/CBSBlueBloods.
- Tell them how you feel on the CBS website: http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.php
- Write CBS at 51 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019-6188
- Heck, pick up the phone, call them at 212-975-4321 and give CBS a verbal thrashing.
- Stop watching the show and stop supporting the show’s advertisers. Hit em where it hurts.
Jennifer, the celiac community is behind you 100%!