Sunday, July 26, 2009

What Do You Think? Should This Ad be Banned?

My friend Sarah Ezekiel is a PALS who lives in London. There is a TV ad she starred in, a public service announcement from the MND Association in the UK. MND stands for Motor Neuron Disease, which is what ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease is called outside of North America. The ad is disturbing, but no more disturbing than the PSAs for stop-smoking campaigns, which show people with laryngectomy holes in their throats, shots of rotting lungs, and people gasping for air. You can read the article [link above] from a UK newspaper, and you can watch the video at this link

Disturbing? Yes. It's supposed to be. Scary? Of course. But you can turn the video or the TV off. We can't turn off ALS/MND. Why is this disease so scary to people? I'd be interested in getting feedback from people, especially from people who don't live ALS/MND firsthand, like patients and caregivers.


Unknown said...

The only part that bothers me is the stripping off of her clothes. I wonder, given all the other disabilities that ths disease causes, if they could not have found a more important and less sexual form for visually expressing the physical prob;ems caused by this disease.
One of my best friends died in 2007 from ALS and he never wanted his body bared to the "public", it was all he could do to bare it to his caregivers. Even if all they had showed were the degeneration of arms and legs, I would have found it more
'tasteful" as opposed to what appeared to me as a blatantly sexual scene, and equally if not better to desribe the devastation of ALS/MND. But I do not have to desease so problably those who suffer from it are in a better position than I to comment.

Anonymous said...

What I found preposterous was the compromise that the censors were demanding in order for this powerful PSA to be televised. They did not object to the violence that the actor's body as a pALS experienced in the video; they did not object to her clothes being stripped away.
If they only cut the scenes that showed Sarah's arms and legs, the PSA would be acceptable.
This is clear and simple prejudice, nothing more or less. It is arguable that UK regulations regarding discrimination in television may allow this to be appealed successfully. I certainly hope that they do.
In the meantime, a great deal of publicity and interest has been generated as a result of the censors' decision. The video is being shown at the cinema in the UK and is available world-wide from Sarah's website.
Rock on, Sarah!! (from Mary Jo in Canada - too lazy to make up a google account)