I watched Boston Legal this week as usual, even though I don’t like being politically preached to every week, I love the characters and the actors portraying them. Including John Larroquette and his character who this week went on to sue the television networks for discriminating against the elderly! The similarities toward those with a disAbility that I have working and shouting about for years was remarkable! Only it is even twice, five, ten times worse with any representation for those of us with a disAbility have on television or movies (oh come on. At least the elderly market had “Murder She Wrote” and “Matlock” which is still in syndication. Its been 40 years since “Ironside” and no reruns on TV Land!).
Still the stats Larroquette’s character spoke about in and out of the court room is what had me cheering at the tv! Most were so identical to our cause here. From the market size which I forgot the exact number he said it was for the elderly Americans but ours of 56+ million Americans with a disAbility, to the spending power of the disAbled consumer market which for us in 2001 numbers is over $1 trillion in aggragate income and $220 billion in discrectionary spending power, both of which he quoted the stats of the elderly market of. to the market demographics of who is watching television (and I might add movies) and yet where is the targeted programing for either of these market segments of the most prolific entertainment consumers?
So kudos to David E. Kelley for bringing up the issue that should be as obvious as a white elephant of ignoring and even discrimination that are common in network and even cable network programming and production practices. Although it was part of the Boston Legal swan song with only 1 or 2 more episodes left in the series at least someone who is on network television has the balls to speak out against the networks! Now let’s keep the ball rolling (no, not Kelley’s balls!) and make a difference. Make our voices heard so that all of Hollywood will recognize the injustices they are unknowingly or uncaring about those of us in the LARGEST and FASTEST growing minority – which by the way as more and more Baby Boomers enter retirement age more and more will also join the disAbled community and therefore why it is predicted that the disAbled community will retain the status of largest ans fastest growiing minority for some years to come.
So listen up Hollywood Dearest. If 56 million Americans is not enough for you to give any respect to, maybe you will when that number becomes 70, 75, 80 million and the voices get louider. Do you really want to wait until you get your balls handed to you as its splashed all over the media on how repressive and disciminatory you have been before making a difference to a very significant market segment of entertainment consumers? When it will be revealed how negligent you have been to us for years – even after the warnings that I have been sending you and calling you about and that you CHOOSE to ignore. Will that be the crowning jewel or the crown of thorns in your contribution to entertainment, your career, your life? Call me!