Rosie O’Donnell went full-insensitive at a comedy show on February 7th while performing at Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City. O’Donnell joked that she’d rather have “autistic triplets” than her own teenage children.
“I had four teenagers when I decided to adopt a newborn baby. You might ask why,” O’Donnell said. “I needed to remind myself that I actually do love children, because I would trade each teen for autistic triplets. I’m just saying I would.”
A representative of the National Autism Association immediately fired back at Rosie, calling her a “piece of dog s—.”
According to TMZ.
“(She) crossed all lines of being a good human being to make a desperate, low-blow joke,” the rep reportedly added.
Rosie later responded.
“The joke is about my feeling incompetent as a parent of teens — that even the most challenging of parenting situations (autistic triplets) is preferable to raising (a) teen,” she said in a statement obtained by the Daily News. “Although it was not my intent to hurt people, I realize I did.”
Of course, Twitter isn’t likely to let her off the hook anytime soon.
— Madden Producer (@MaddenProducer) February 11, 2016
Still haven’t mustered up the courage to push the “paper mache Rosie O’Donnell in the shape of a giant dick” button on my microwave.
— Chez McCorvey (@CelebrityChez) February 11, 2016
The problem and issues here far supersede O’Donnells attempt at humor at the expense of autistic kids. It really highlights the ridiculous and sadly wrong perceptions of children who have autism and the parents who work hard raising them. This is more a cultural issue rather than a singular one. O’Donnell is far from the only person on earth who doesn’t understand the disorder. Television, media and parents everywhere aren’t always well versed in the matter, leading to stereotyped concepts of what children with autism are like. We know they are actually beautiful beings (sure, with challenges), but they aren’t the picture O’Donnell and so many others choose to paint. We need more outreach and more understanding, particularly now when autism rates are rising as fast as they are (1-45 children are being diagnosed on the spectrum).