Celebrities – you know them. They can be kind, generous, and approachable. They can also be crude, negative and bigheaded. In this case, the latter applies.
Yesterday was an absolute firestorm on twitter and it all started with a joke: Someone posed the question of what they should wear when going to meet William Shatner. Someone else responded by saying “A Boycott Autism Speaks Shirt!”. William personally found this tweet and followed it up with the tweet you see here.
Victoria responded and Shatner viewed that as a threat – which is completely ironic due to the statement he made in the above tweet.
It also appears that this is not the first time he has become very hostile towards someone who was asking a very genuine question about their Autistic child.
I wonder where his publicist is and how his unprofessional behaviour has not reached the mainstream media. If you are going to attack a marginalized group of people, defend Autism Speaks and expect that the #ActuallyAutistic community is going to be quiet, you’ve got another thing coming. A lot of his fans are blindly following him and hanging on to his every word, without doing research on the subject. They are attacking us and creating an extremely stressful environment because of their perceived allyship to Mr. Shatner. I would only hope that asking for donations to ASAN would be welcomed, but sadly that is just not the case.
Before any opportunity is offered to me, I always do my research. I search up the positives and negatives so I can make an informed decision. That seems to be common sense; at least that’s what I thought.
Occasionally, i’ll do a twitter search for “Autism Speaks” to see what kind of propaganda is being perpetuated. I’ll usually see parents, this running app (CharityMiles) that donates to them and merchandise with puzzle pieces for sale.
So, back to yesterday, I noticed there was a gamer by the name of Ash or Clash With Ash (CWA) who was incredibly excited to share the news of his ambassadorship with Autism Speaks. His video was complete with puzzle pieces in the background. What a lovely touch.
We, the Actually Autistic community have been on it. We’ve let him know that this isn’t helping us – that it’s actually hurting us. Ash’s followers are commending him and don’t seem to be questioning him. I’m assuming they believed he did his due diligence and researched Autism Speaks before he went full out and posted all his puzzle-piece laden propaganda for them to eat up and praise him for. He’s been incredibly quick to thank his supporters and put us in the backseat. Part of me believes he thought this would be good publicity and paint him as some kind of saint because his late Brother was Autistic. Here’s the initial tweet that started this all.
If you take the time to scroll through his twitter, you’ll see the calm before the storm. I took it upon myself to let his followers know that his actions are the opposite of commendable-by informing them that Autism Speaks is not a good organization. I don’t recall any of them responding to me.
I’m not sure how this benefits him. Perhaps it gives him a greater sense of purpose and believes that because he has a platform and an audience, that he could bring some kind of awareness to a cause he says is so important to him. We don’t need that. We can advocate for ourselves without hiding behind the guise of a hate group. There’s also better organizations to donate money to, like ASAN.
If you wish to add your opinion and let him know that we don’t need him to speak on our behalf, his social media platforms are:
I’m almost gritting my teeth as I write this. It’s always experiences that prompt me to go on these informative rants (if you want to call it that) and let it all flow.
I was recently contacted by someone who runs a charity event to benefit a local Autism Centre. She asked me if there was any way I wanted to be involved and immediately I got quite defensive and a bit angry. I should have controlled my emotions a bit better but it was seemingly obvious that she had not viewed any of my content prior to contacting me.
She told me they raised over 200,000 in the past for this centre with their different events. That’s all well and good until you see who one of the main sponsors is for the centre.
AUTISM SPEAKS CANADA.
Anyone who knows me or has viewed my content has probably seen how outspoken I am against them. Just look up “Boycott Autism Speaks” on google and you’ll yield 266,000 results! There are plenty of reasons as to why I will not be involved in ANYTHING that is remotely linked to them. I have values and self-respect.
The conversation went like this:
Do you really want to help the Autistic community? I’m always quite disheartened by the fact that so many of these opportunities are laden with no information OR misinformation. It makes getting the message of advocacy/activism/equality/rights much harder to convey.
If you want to donate funds, here’s some things you can do:
Contact your local Autistic Meetup group and ask what they need
Support Autistic individuals by purchasing their art or offerings