Channel 4 criticised as show asks if it is OK to hit the disabled
Channel 4 criticised as show asks if it is OK to hit disabled people.
The Last Leg, a comedy show covering the London Paralympic Games, includes a segment called ‘Is it OK’, in which viewers tweet in questions about disability that may be deemed socially unacceptable.
One tweet that appeared on screen said: “Is it OK to hit a disabled person if he’s being a nob.”
Channel 4 said the tweet was due to be screened and discussed on Monday’s show but was broadcast early due to a “technical error”. It will be screened again tonight.
Sarah Capewell, a spokeswoman for charity Voice UK, which supports disabled victims of crime, said Channel 4, the Paralympic broadcaster, “should be careful”.
“Disabled people are four times more likely to be a victim of crime than an able-bodied person and yet huge numbers of disabled people are victims of crime and just don’t report it. “It is a very significant problem.”
Kathryn Stone OBE, Chief Executive of Voice UK, said: “Currently we have a curious juxtaposition of disabled people as inspirational heroes winning gold medals and triumphing over all manner of adversities. And then we have disabled people as victims of hate crime, assaulted, harassed and maligned simply for being who they are.
“It is not alright to hit anyone.”
On Sunday evening’s show, tweets being discussed included whether it is acceptable to ask for a ‘high five’ from someone with a hand disfigurement and why blind athletes say: “We’ll see how it goes,” during interviews.
The tweet referring to hitting disabled people was not discussed by the panellists, which included comedian Jimmy Carr.
A Channel 4 spokesman said: “The Last Leg with Adam Hills is an irreverent late night show which tackles head on issues of disability associated with Paralympic sport. The tweet was due to be used on Monday night’s show and discussed by Alex Brooker in the context of his own experiences as a disabled person.
“A technical error meant the tweet flashed up on screen briefly on Sunday night’s show – without the opportunity to discuss the question in context by the team in the studio. It will be shown and discussed in tonight’s show.“
Australian comedian Adam Hills, who was born without a right foot, said at the beginning of the show: “We have had a few people wondering whether we might be being a little bit distasteful on this show, especially with a segment called: Is it OK?”
He said: “Some people have a problem with it. You know who doesn’t have a problem with it? The athletes.”
Hills said the Paralympians he met said it was their favourite segment of the show.
There has already been controversy over joking about the Paralympics.
Frankie Boyle, whose show Tramadol Nights is broadcast on Channel 4, came under fire for calling the Saudi Arabian team “mainly thieves” referring to criminals having their hands removed.
In another message he posted to Twitter during the opening ceremony, he said: “I’m going down to the blind football to shout that the referee’s a deaf b——.”
Boyle tweeted: “I’d say my Paralympic tweets are celebratory. I’ll be joking about Paralympics same way I joked about the Olympics. That’s my job yo.”