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Special Olympics has launched a petition against Showtime and comedian Gary Owen due to his use of the word “retarded” in his comedy special for the cabler.

The organization has also launched a petition on social media, which has over 1,000 signatures to date. “We live in an era where bullying has become public sport, where public figures and leaders from dozens of walks of life seem to believe that humiliation and viciousness are acceptable ways of communicating,” says the petition. “Please join us in signing the petition to demand that Showtime remove this segment of the comedy special from their air and implore Gary Owen to apologize for his use of the R-word and take the pledge to not use the R-word.”

“People with intellectual disabilities–one of the largest groups of people with disabilities in the world–have suffered generations of discrimination and humiliation,” Special Olympics chair Tim Shriver told Variety in a statement. “In the 21st century, they, together with their families and friends, are continuing their battle for the simplest form of justice: the justice that comes with a recognition of their full humanity. In my own experience, when I ask people–be they first graders or media figures–to join in stopping the casual use of the word ‘retarded,’ they universally agree to do so. Most want to go further: they want to understand better how they can serve as agents of acceptance and dignity. None of this comedy routine is funny. At all. It is callous and gratuitous verbal violence. We are determined to stop it.”

To read the Variety article published in Inforum:


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