Wow. Seriously…just wow.
I’ve been railing against the media for four years on this blog. You’d think in those four years, things would get better. You’d think the media would realize that celiac disease is serious shit and gluten-free is nothing to make fun of. You’d think the people writing these crappy scripts would understand that making fun of a “disease treatment” is simply not funny.
You’d think wrong. Completely effin’ wrong.
This week alone, we have had four separate media attacks on gluten-free. Let me rephrase that. We had 3 attacks and one “not sure what that was.” I took video of each segment, which you can view below. Sorry for the crappy quality. It matches the crappy quality of the TV shows and commercials.
And for those of you who think I should “lighten up”, I don’t wanna hear it. I can’t tell you the number of emails I received recently about the below items. This matters to many in the community. Don’t agree with me? You advocate your way…and I’ll advocate mine.
Ok, here we go. I will list them in order of least to most “what the f*ck…really???”
Audi calls gluten-free a trend…just like kale
This is a recent Audi ad. It likens gluten-free to kale and selfie sticks. No seriously…it really does. Why? Because Audi considers them all trendy. I consider the Audi marketing team to be a bunch of cretins. Personally, I think kale is awesome and will be around for a long time. Selfie sticks? Meh. Gluten-free? Unless they find a cure for celiac disease (yeah right), gluten-free is here to stay. So why did Audi include it? You’ll have to ask them. But by all means, please ask them. (Can’t see the video? Click here.)
The Mysteries of Laura says everything worth eating has gluten in it
After dragging myself through this one episode, the “mystery” to me is how this show made it on the air. Wow…that was dreadful. Anyway, Debra Messing plays Laura Diamond, some kind of police person who I think has a crush on another police person while also solving crimes. How original. In this special episode, Laura offers a hungry child a half-eaten granola bar, but the mom says he can’t eat it because he’s diabetic, so he’s sugar-free and gluten-free. Laura, being the witty cop that she is, says “I tried that for a day. It turns out everything worth eating is chock full of gluten.” Ha ha ha ha ha. Man…tv sucks. (Can’t see the video? Click here.)
Blue Bloods mentions celiac disease??????
Yes, I used a lot of question marks. This one is just bizarre. They actually handled it…what’s the word…gently? Or perhaps begrudgingly? If you don’t know the back story, Jennifer Esposito, an actress and fellow celiac, had a large part on the show, but was kicked off in 2012. The reason? They wanted her to work more hours than her contract called for, and because she was quite ill due to her celiac disease, she couldn’t. So they fired her. You can read the whole disgusting story here and here. So I just found the idea that they would bring celiac disease into the script…peculiar. And again, they didn’t make fun of gluten-free so it’s not like I can slam the writers. Was it ignorance? An acknowledgment to Jennifer? A subtle dig??? I’m lost here. What do you think? (Can’t see the video? Click here.)
Grandfathered thinks poisoning people is funny
I saved the worst for the last. And this one is just nauseating. Yes, even more revolting than the show itself, if that’s possible. John Stamos, the ageless wonder, plays a restaurateur named Jimmy. In this HYSTERICAL scene, the chef comes over and asks Jimmy to try his new “gluten-free pappardelle”. Jimmy likes it and asks what’s in it. You know what the chef says? “GLUTEN. TONS OF GLUTEN. IT’S BASICALLY NOTHING BUT GLUTEN.” I have no words for this one. What the hell is funny about this? How this makes it from script to production without one person realizing how damaging this can be to our community is beyond me. Since I don’t have any words..perhaps you can be my voice. Your thoughts? (Can’t see the video? Click here.)
So there you have it. What a week. What a disaster. What a huge step backwards for celiac awareness.
Maybe the writers don’t know that untreated celiac disease can be life threatening; that celiacs are more likely to be afflicted with problems relating to malabsorption, including osteoporosis, tooth enamel defects, central and peripheral nervous system disease, pancreatic disease, internal hemorrhaging, organ disorders (gall bladder, liver, and spleen), and gynecological disorders; that untreated celiac disease has also been linked an increased risk of certain types of cancer, especially intestinal lymphoma. (source: Center for Celiac Research)
Maybe they don’t know that undiagnosed celiac disease can quadruple the risk of death. (source: Mayo Clinic)
Or maybe they know…and they don’t care.
I guess the joke is on us.
P.S. I received the following email last night. It hits home.
“Thanks for yelling at the media. As one of those who was bullied as a child, by the popular kids of course, it really sucks when your favorite television character gives a “gluten free punch line”. It’s not so much the lines themselves, but rather the vast amounts of them. Everywhere. Like all those innocent comments, that teachers didn’t think mattered. But each time you feel like you matter a little bit less. Are a little less human than they are. In other words, I have this not-so-strange fear that society is teaching children that it’s okay to bully children who are gf. As well as teaching gf children that they’ll have to quietly accept it. We all deserve better than that.”