Fox no longer 'retarded'
We get a lot of comments on Ouch - both here on the weblog and over on the messageboard - about other English-speaking countries' use of outdated disability language, the sort of words that are now considered offensive by disabled people in the UK.
'Retard' (or 'retarded') seems to be another word that is still acceptable amongst many of our American cousins, despite Ouch readers voting it their Worst Word a couple of years ago. But maybe some sections of the US media are beginning to catch up. The Fox TV network has just banned the use of the word 'retarded' in response to a complaint from a Down Syndrome advocacy group. A regional branch of the American National Down Syndrome Society said it received complaints from viewers of American Idol about a commercial during the programme for new Fox show called The Loop, which included the line: "You have a retarded squirrel look on your face". Unfortunately, that first edition of The Loop is due to be broadcast this Wednesday, so it's too late to edit it. But the ad was pulled immediately, and the President of Fox Broadcasting, Peter Ligouri then announced that the offensive word would enver again appear in any Fox TV show.