PRESS RELEASE


MENCAP are supporting Nicola Clark a campaigner for the rights of disabled people and mother of two disabled children in demanding an apology from Vinnie Jones after his "retard" comment and mocking "retard" walk on Big Brother's Big Mouth on 29th January 2010.

Nicola Clark was also saddened by Davina McCall who laughed loudly at Jones's behaviour even though McCall recently spoke in support of a young dancer with Autism for her Sky1 show "Got to Dance". However on friday night McCall appeared to have forgotten this and went on to say"I don't walk like a "retard".


Ismail Kaji, spokesman for learning disability charity Mencap, comments:

ďAs someone with a learning disability I find it unacceptable that people use the word retard as it is a very negative word to use. People should think about the meaning and realise that it is insulting to people with a learning disability and therefore not use it.

The Don't play me pay me Campaign feels that if the comments had been racist both of the Celebrities would have been disciplined but to date no action has been taken.
 
Hate crime is a real fact of life for disabled people resulting in several deaths.Notably the Pilkingtons who were hounded to death. They were frequently taunted by the word "retard". Broadcasters need to take responsibility for the influence they have over their audiences.

Seeing celebrities mock disability will lead viewers to believe that "retard" comments are perfectly acceptable.They are not. The Don't play me, pay me campaign is questoning why nothing has been done by Channel 4 and why they have not received a response.

Don't play me Pay me Campaign called for Jones to apologise in a statement on Tuesday 2nd February and in an interview with BBC Radio Shropshire on Wednesday 3rd February. Vinnie Jones publicists were contacted for a comment by the radio station but they have not received a response. 

Celebrity Big Brother raises funds for disability projects and Jones was also raising funds for Help for Heroes by participating in the programme. Using the term "retard" is as offensive to disabled people as racist abuse.

 
 
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