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Call Goes Out to Petition against Humanitarian Award for Jerry Lewis

Feb 25, 2009

( A petition drive has been launched in response to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' announcement that it will give Jerry Lewis its Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Many feel that Jerry Lewis has helped to perpetuate negative, stereotypical attitudes toward people with muscular dystrophy and other disabilities. Jerry Lewis and the Telethon actively promote pity as a fundraising strategy. Disabled people want RESPECT and RIGHTS, not pity and charity. During the 1992 Telethon, he said that people with MD, 'cannot go into the workplace. There's nothing they can do.' Lewis has also made derogatory comments about women and gay men. His outdated attitudes and crude remarks are dehumanizing, not humanitarian.

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