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Ignorance in Primetime - A Repost

Friday, February 25, 2011

This post was originally posted on my old blog on 11/6/09.  I'm still in the process of moving things over here to my new home!   After reading Leighann's take on this - I thought I would repost my original thoughts on the show - Which I LOVE by the way!

If you read my facebook status, you know I’m steaming mad!

Ignorance has now made an appearance in prime time!

After a long day at school and a long evening of parent teacher conferences (and – oh yeah, medium ketones in the morning…) I sat down to enjoy some vegging out time in front of the tv. We were watching the show Modern Family on ABC. It’s a good show – I like it! I think it’s pretty funny and has made it into our dvr line up even though we were officially “not accepting new shows this season”.

In case you don’t know, this show is about a “modern family”. There are three branches of the same family. There is Jay (played by Ed O’Neill of Married with Children fame) who is married to Gloria (his second wife). They live with Gloria’s son, Manny, from her previous marriage. Jay’s grown children are also featured on the show. His daughter, Claire is married to Phil and they have three children. Jay’s son, Mitchell, is gay and married to Cameron and they have Lilly, an adopted daughter.

Last night I was sitting there enjoying some laughs, minding my own business, when a comment made on the show really ticked me off.

Last night’s episode was about Manny. He is really good at fencing. It is the first sport that he has excelled at and everyone is proud of him. He is going to compete in the finals of this fencing tournament but his opponent is going to be a girl. He says he wants to “retire” because he does not want to fight a girl.

Jay and Gloria encourage him to compete (lots of funny details I’m leaving out but I want to get to the point). As they are waiting for the final match, what looks to be the opponent’s mother sits down by the family. They begin talking and find out that it is NOT her mother, but her nurse.

The girl’s father died in Afghanistan, she’s an orphan, etc. etc. Then her “cheering section” all comes in – or rolls in- in their wheelchairs. Manny’s family feels bad – but he goes on to beat this little girl. Jay says to the nurse at the end, (not direct quotes) “Well, maybe she can at least have some ice cream on the way home.” And the lady answers, “No, she can’t. She’s diabetic.”


I about levitated off the couch! Are you kidding me?!?!

Ok, first I’m mad because this NOT TRUE. We all know that kids with diabetes can have sweets. And we know that as a child, if this girl was diabetic, it was most likely Type 1.

Second, It is DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH!!! Seriously folks… get your facts straight. If Hannah Montana can do it, anyone can.

I’m just so ticked that this myth that diabetics can’t eat sweets was propagated on NATIONAL TELEVISION.

Do you think a letter writing campaign might be in order?!!?

If you are interested in watching the episode, you can see it at:
The episode is called En Garde.

I left a comment on the show link. This is what it said:

I really enjoy your show! I think it is very funny and one of the best new shows of the year!
However, I was very disappointed in last night's episode.

At the end of the episode Phil asks the nurse of the child that Manny is fencing if she can take the child out for ice cream. The woman responds, "No, she's diabetic." This is untrue.

Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes strikes in childhood. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It lasts a lifetime - there is no cure for diabetes.

People with Type 1 Diabetes must take multiple injections of insulin a day in order to survive. They also must test their blood sugar multiple times a day. Type 1 diabetes requires people to balance their insulin doses with their food intake in order to prevent hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic reactions - both of which are life threatening.

Type 1 diabetics ARE able to eat any food they wish and are not required to follow a strict diet. The diet for people with type 1 diabetes is the same as for anyone else - a healthy balanced diet. Therefore, Type 1 diabetics are able to enjoy ice cream or sweets - as a part of a healthy, balanced diet.

There are many misconceptions about diabetes in the world today. Many people do not have the correct facts about this disease. It is a shame that during November - Diabetes Awareness Month - erroneous information was shared through this program.

This is just another example of how little people know about diabetes and how much work we have to do to educate and clear up false information.

It's overwhelming. And at times I ask myself, "Am I getting worked up over nothing? Who really cares?"

But I care. I want my daughter to grow up in a world that does not blame her for her disease. A world that understands it. A world that, just maybe, makes everything she has to do to stay alive a little bit easier.

Is that too much to ask?



  1. Wow, I love that show and I don't think I saw this particular episode. I admire, as always, your voice championing for all of our children and for PWDs Hallie. Thank you. Your letter was fantastic.

    Now...if we could only look like Manny's hot mama in some hooker heels!!! Like Lora!

  2. i love this show and somehow missed that episode too! how disappointing that they would put that on their show :-(

  3. While I think that show is very funny,I actually find it to be depraved, as are most sitcoms. It appears to me that the writers managed to insult veterans, orphans, paraplegics and diabetics all in one scene. I find the portrayal of adoption ( couple who adopted the baby from Korea) to make light of the plight of orphans and insults adoptive families. I just am not shocked at all, though I appreciate you educating them.

  4. I need to watch what I say around people... I am going to be known as the "nip twistin, sittin in the kitchen sink with my stripper shoes while rubbing prep H on my bags" girl.

    I need a new image :)

  5. What bugs me more than the "can't eat ice cream" is that it's okay to make a child with diabetes, the punch line. Cause that's what they were going for. There was a joke once on SNL about Lucky Charms cereal now has less sugar, because the "lephrechaun lost a leg to diabetes". If someone made a joke about someone losing a breast to cancer, no one would laugh, but somehow, diabetes is fair game.

    It's such a fine line with the food and snacks, because, yes of course my daughter can get an ice cream, but I don't want to her to eat the mountains of snack foods most people currently eat.

  6. Yeah, that was so annoying, BUT you must have missed the Modern Family episode when a guest role "joked" about his sister that lost her leg to diabetes. :/ That one PISSED me off. No one would ever joke about someone losing a breast to cancer.

    There was also just a stupid comment in Adam Sandler's Just Go With It. And there was another bad one on Saturday night live not too long ago. :(


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