HOLLYWOOD, Fla., July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from the Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease Research.
With the release of the movie "Ted 2" on June 26, 2015, Comcast NBC Universal Filmed Entertainment and Universal Pictures sinks to an all-time low, mocking Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) by inviting its audience to join in a highly offensive, big screen joke at the expense of individuals suffering from this chronic and often life-threatening condition. This, despite Comcast NBC Universal's corporate lip service regarding Diversity and Inclusion on its website, that clearly states: "At Comcast NBC Universal, we celebrate diverse cultures and backgrounds by presenting positive role models, telling diverse success stories, commemorating heritage, and fostering dialogue on a variety of platforms, to create powerfully engaging content that makes a real difference in people's lives."
In "Ted 2," the lead character, a stuffed bear, voiced-over by the film's writer/director Seth MacFarlane, visits a sperm bank to explore a ways to reproduce. His human friend, John, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg, bumps into shelves, knocking over containers of sperm. They are told by a nurse that it's no great loss, since the sperm will be excluded because the donors have Sickle Cell Anemia. "You're covered in rejected black guys' sperm," Ted gibes. For SCD patients and those who carry the sickle cell trait, this is a particularly insensitive joke on many levels. Not all are African American - Hispanics, Mediterranean and other cultures can also suffer from SCD. Carriers of the sickle cell trait can have healthy children; even individuals with SCD can deliver healthy children.
According to Dr. Lanetta Jordan, President of the FSCDR, "The notion of making a comedy about a life-threatening disease like Sickle Cell Disease is a mockery of humanity. It dishonors and adds insult to the lives of patients who live with excruciating pain, stigma, improper treatment and other serious challenges on a daily basis and deserve better than this from movie moguls." As Dr. Jordan explains, "These brave patients and their families face a myriad of problems, including a constant threat of infections, strokes, organ systems shutting down, unpredictable and debilitating pain, social isolation and seemingly endless insurance issues surrounding the few medical therapies available to treat them."
The Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease Research is a 501c3 organization dedicated to research, patient care, public education and advocacy.
SOURCE Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease Research