An Open Letter to Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair Disney Media Networks President, Disney/ABC Television Group
Dear Ms. Sweeney,
I am writing to ask why Disney/ABC Television ridiculed and marginalized our nation’s veterans and millions of other Americans during the October 29th broadcast of its prime time television show, Modern Family.
Twenty-two veterans commit suicide each day in our nation. Nearly all have a diagnosable mental illness. Many have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that they suffered fighting for your safety and freedom. Yet, the writers of Modern Family: Halloween 3: AwesomeLand decided to make these proud warriors the butt of belittling jokes.
In the episode, Claire Dunphy decides to create the most frightening house in her neighborhood by transforming her front yard into a “scary insane asylum” complete with “deranged mental patients,” a “sadistic nurse” and “demented doctor.” The episode features daughter Alex chained to a hospital bed and Luke wearing a straight jacket – images that are intended to make viewers chuckle. Words such as “nut job, Looney Bin, cuckoo” are sprinkled throughout the dialogue — less viewers forget that nothing is more frightening than someone with a mental disorder.