Sunday, January 18, 2009

Roloffs making waves on Loveline

A few months ago, Jen Montzingo debated about whether she should link to a video full of ignorance to display their ignorance or whether by providing the link she would just being giving them publicity that they don't deserve. I understand how she felt. Ultimately, I think people can see the ignorance for themselves and the people that don't get it will still be as ignorant as before.

This video is on You Tube. If you don't feel like listening to some stupidity, a caller phones into a radio talk show, describing the episode where Jeremy tells Matt and Zach that sneezing is 1/8th of an orgasm. The caller asks if it's true. As soon as she mentions the program, the hosts turn it into a joke and fall in love with the word "midget" and make references to The Smurffs.

I would proudly like to state that I don't know anything about this program or the on air "personalities". It seems to be a mix of Dr. Ruth and Howard Stern.

The reason why I'm talking about this is because several people honestly wonder why the word "midget" is derogatory. This is a good example of why. Almost every time I've heard people use the word "midget" it's in this sense, said in laughter as a joke and full of ridicule.

The other observation I have, and I find this to be true of most people that watch the show, even those who are critical about certain aspects of the show or the Roloffs - people that watch seem to get it. It wouldn't even cross a person's mind that is a full time viewer of the show to behave like those two morons on the radio. They're people and they're judged on their character and what they do and say - as anybody is. I find it is always people who don't really watch and just have heard about the show who are the ones that as soon as there is a reference to the show or the Roloffs, laughter and the word "midget" follows about 8 times. I find it to be very insulting, but I think it's a good example of why respectful people don't use the word "midget".

I'm interested in hearing from people who don't think it's particularly wrong for Jeremy Roloff and his friends to use slurs and make jokes about other groups, if those people also think those radio hosts are funny? Hey, everybody has their opinion. Maybe I'm just in the group of the people who think making jokes about people for being who they are is wrong and not funny, but maybe it's our problem for not having a sense of humor and we need to get with the program and start mocking people?

Nah, I like my mindset the way it is. :)


Rap541 said...

It goes to something I have been saying. I don't mind - in theory - a lot of lecturing about the word "midget" because really, I'm a reasonably intelligent person. I get it. It's rude and mean, and beneath me to mock someone for how they appear. As my mom explained when I was five "colored and white", and forgive my mom but she was of the generation where "colored" was polite, "aren't any different underneath and if all you think of to make fun of someone is to make fun of how they look, you're just proving you aren't smart enough to find a real reason to make fun".

On the other hand - I honestly believe the Roloffs would be offended by that little clip... but I also suspect that if it had been about someone black/hispanic/jewish, and one of their kids saying it - they'd be laughing, and *offended* if anyone judged their kids, or them, for it. They've proven that. They're offended at be called bad parents because their kid was caught out using racist words, with his friends, over a three year period. They get a LOT of good press for saying "midget is wrong, don't judge me by how I look" but it's their own kid... we all need to mind our own business. So my kids need to be lectured, but theirs are free to do as they please.

Thats what bugs me. You know, having dwarfism doesn't give you or your family a free pass to pee on others

Brokenwing said...

Rap, I disagree because there is a difference between what those hosts are doing and Jeremy. I agree that yes the Roloffs would be offended by that clip.

The reason why it's different in my opinion, is because the hosts are specifically calling the Roloffs midgets. They're looking at or talking about little people and referring to them as midgets and laughing.

I do think Jeremy was wrong to use the N word and f*g, but he wasn't referring to people belonging to those groups and that is the difference.

Amy said in her interview answer that Jeremy was wrong, so I'm not sure why you think Amy and Matt think it's acceptable? I don't have Amy's exact quote because I'm in here in the comment box, but I think she said "not because I'm telling you (meaning Jeremy), but because it's wrong. Is that how you want to be treated or looked upon?"

Wouldn't you agree that she is clearly saying she doesn't approve of Jeremy using those words? She just doesn't think he deserves to be called a racist gay bashing bigot and I agree with her.

Erica said...

Rap541, it should not bug you because those are adults behaving like idiots as professionals.

Jeremy is just a kid talking to his friends.

I hope the show got some complaints for what they said.

PS - On You Tube you can flag the video for offensive conduct. They might delete it if they get enough complaints.

Kate said...

Jeremy wasn't intending to offend or insult any group. I think that was Amy's message that she spoke about.

Those hosts knew they were being offensive. The man admitted he was being rude.

"On the other hand - I honestly believe the Roloffs would be offended by that little clip... but I also suspect that if it had been about someone black/hispanic/jewish, and one of their kids saying it - they'd be laughing, and *offended* if anyone judged their kids, or them, for it. They've proven that."

I don't agree. They wouldn't think it's funny. Amy didn't say what Jeremy said was funny, but he was being a normal teenager.

The Roloffs are good parents. They don't deserve to be called bad parents because Jeremy says something a lot of kids say.

I'm also Christian so I don't think being dwarf (no choice) and being gay (a choice) can be compared.

Justin said...

Of course it is the same. It is all mocking. Rap is right. The last paragraph of the blog is right.

It is hypocrisy. If Amy doesn't like being called a hypocrite she shouldn't act like a hypocrite.

I don't think the Roloffs would like that video and I would agree with them. It is insulting.

Really what is the difference between those talk show hosts making dwarves the butt of their jokes and talking about them like they are less and the way Jeremy and his "buds" talk about gay people (or any number of ethnic and religious groups). Jeremy was laughing at them and talking about them like they are less, not like they are a group to be respected.

Amy's "answer" said she's offended at being called a hypocrite. She was offended that people were criticizing Jeremy and didn't think it was fair. That's not how a person acts who thinks what Jeremy did was wrong.

debbie said...

[["It wouldn't even cross a person's mind that is a full time viewer of the show to behave like those two morons on the radio"]]

That's an excellent point. If the reason why the Roloffs continue to do the show is to promote LP acceptance, I would have thought they might be pleased that people treat them like everybody else.

Instead the Roloffs seem to get very upset if people criticize them over valid things like Jeremy using offensive words or insulting fans or lying about drinking.

Is it really LP acceptance they want or is it to have special rules for members of their family?

Sheri said...


I wish people like you would realise the Roloffs are a wonderful family. They've taught people all around the world to look at little people differently than they did before.

Many teens say what Jeremy says. Please don't pick on Jeremy because he's famous. That's the only reason why people care. They didn't do the show to be famous. They did the show for a good cause. They share their lives for a good cause. Fans shouldn't take advantage of that and pick on Jeremy.

rap541 said...

"Many teens say what Jeremy says"

So its ok then? Jeremy says racist words and deserves praise?

He should be held up and praised? Many teens drink alcohol and drive. I suppose Jeremy should do that to, and be praised for it. Many teens get knocked up. If Jeremy gets some girl pregnant, well, teens do that so no one should have a problem with it.

I'm not picking on Jeremy, he's acting *badly* and does not deserve to hear "you're so good to call mexicans beaners! Atta boy!"

If Amy and Matt want people to respect their differences, why doesn't that insistence for respect extend to others? "Midget" is wrong, but "n-word" is a word teens use, and since teens use it, its ok?

Sheri, I wish you wouldn't assume that disliking a teenager being given a free pass to call others racist names is somehow a slam on little people in general. It is hypocritical for the Roloffs to allow their son to treat people of different colors with disrespect but insist that they shouldn't be judged on their appearence.

How is "n-word" normal teen talk and if it perfectly acceptable for Jeremy to call people "n-word" then why do the Roloffs not allow it to be filmed? Its normal, right? You find it acceptable for jeremy to say, and would not correct him or any other teenager from saying it?

But you would correct someone for using "midget"?

Sheri said...

[["I'm not picking on Jeremy, he's acting *badly* and does not deserve to hear "you're so good to call mexicans beaners! Atta boy!"]]

Rap, Amy didn't say Jeremy should be praised for it, but he shouldn't be picked on.

It shouldn't be praised, but that's how kids talk today. Jeremy didn't mean to offend anyone. Amy knows Jeremy didn't mean it to hurt anybody that's why she think it's unfair that he's being raked over the hot coals.

It depends on how I heard a person say the word "midget". Teens think they're showing love by saying the N word. They say it to he's my close friend and brother. The word midget doesn't have the same meaning. I don't think it can be compared.

Jeremy is a good boy and the Roloffs are a wonderful family. You need to cut Jeremy some slack. He is still a teenagers and they make mistakes. It's not for us to judge. It's for Amy and Matt to deal with. Amy said she did. That's good enough for me :)

Sharon said...

I'm not a little person and I don't know the Roloffs, but I just listened to that clip and those hosts and the channel that broadcasts them should be ashamed of themselves. "Do the Roloffs grant wishes" "They built a new midget deck because Gargamel found them"?

What is that crap? They should crawl back under the rock that they came from.

Rap541 said...

"You need to cut Jeremy some slack. "

I see this a lot. Why? If I think he is wrong, why should I sit silent when I believe he is wrong? Its not my business? I notice this attitude a lot from parents. It takes a village until it's their kid, and then you better mind your own business instead of correcting *my* child.

"Rap, Amy didn't say Jeremy should be praised for it, but he shouldn't be picked on. "

So he can pick on beaners because some teens do it and he can't hear a word of criticism? Actions have consequences. Perhaps, when Amy and Matt were "dealing with it" when it first started occuring on his Myspace, and btw, I know for a fact that some fans did, as early as 2005 email Matt with concerns about the content of Jeremy's myspace, they should have required Jeremy to take down the comments? Since both parents profess to not approve? And perhaps, as more and more comments occured during 2006 and 2007, Matt and Amy should have considered the possibility that whatever means they had "dealt with" the behavior weren't working?

For people who say those words offend them, they sure had no problem with Jeremy displaying them on his myspace until Aug 11, 2008. Even though they disapprove, and dealt with it, they in fact let Jeremy continue the behavior.

So when they dealt with it, they appear to have done *nothing* until they were forced to address it due to bad press. Because despite their views on diversity, those comments stayed up for years. And Matt, who posts on forums and runs his own website and all in all seems very savvy about marketing and the internet really can't claim to be internet ignorant.

"It's not for us to judge. "

Yes it is. If I see a kid calling someone the n-word, I judge "ignorant" and tell the kid to grow up. Matt and Amy are playing the do as we say and not as we do. They want respect, and they don't require their kids to give respect. Amy's own comments indicate she doesn't care *what* Jeremy said, but that he got caught. Nice lesson. Not "don't do it" but "Don't get caught".

Sheri said...

Everybody needs to cut Jeremy some slack because he's just a kid who has the pressure of the added attention from the show.

It's not helping Jeremy for everybody to jump on him and villify him for something lots of kids are doing. Amy and Matt said they dealt with it. Everybody should respect that.

Public lynchings of a Christian teenager don't solve anything.

Brokenwing said...

Rap, you didn't answer my question. You keep saying Amy and Matt were ok with what Jeremy said.

What do you make of Amy's quote:

"But be careful of your words, be careful of your language, not because I'm telling you, but because it's the right thing. Is that how you want to be treated and looked upon."

Wouldn't you agree that she is clearly saying she doesn't approve of Jeremy using those words?

Rap541 said...

I would say she's *saying* that, but the proof is that his comments stayed up and on display to the viewing public, despite her and Matt knowing about them and dealing with them in 2005, until Aug 11, 2008 when they started getting negative attention from the media. Which a variety of fresh comments added, I might add, which means the behavior never stopped.

Saying and doing are two very different things. Amy *says* she wants her boys to do well in school. Amy never does anything to accomplish that. Matt says he will buy Jeremy a car if Jeremy passes math... Jeremy fails and Matt still buys a car for him.

What Matt and Amy *say* is often very different from what they do, and often what they *say* is in no way the truth. Remember, Matt is on record saying he makes very little money from the show. So where is it coming from? Now that he's not working?

I'm sorry, but I have seen Matt and Amy say a lot that isn't true, often enough that I know the two of them saying they disciplined Jeremy is fairly meaningless. The proof? Is in the three years of Myspace comments that Amy and Matt disapproved of soooooo much that they did nothing to stop them... until it started affecting the gravy train.

Melinda said...

I do listen to this radio show occasionally and the man that makes the smurf and leprechaun comments is not a regular host of the show. I was suprised when I saw this post because I didn't think that Dr. Drew, who is the voice of reason on the show, would do something like this. He was not there, so this man must have been guest hosting in his place. Stryker, the other host, seemed to just be going along with this guy, which is wrong also. If Dr. Drew were there, this conversation would have been a lot different, and he would have actually known the answer to the girl's question.

Unknown said...

I recognized the guest voice instantly. It is Seth McFarland, the creator and voices for the tv cartoon Family Guy. Knowing what he usually says it is surprising he didn't say worse than what we heard.