Ever since I was four, I have always been entranced by Nickelodeon. Classics like Spongebob, the Fairly Oddparents, and Rugrats were a pivotal part of my childhood.
That’s why I was devastated to see that one of my favorite channels growing up has partnered with Autism Speaks on April 2 of this year during Autism Acceptance Day.
Given that autistic people comprise a chunk of Nickelodeon’s fanbase, it’s a shame that they would partner with a corporation that is known to portray the people they claim to represent as a disease and in need of being cured. “I Am Autism” is perfect proof of what I’m talking about. But there’s more to the story than that.
On that day, Nickelodeon released a Facebook post promoting Autism Speaks’ “Kindness Counts” marketing campaign that has received backlash from autistic individuals. Over 1,000 comments were deleted on the post by Nickelodeon itself.
Autistics were simply exercising free speech and addressing their concerns for the controversial decision the company has made. It is wrong to censor opinions, especially when the company they’re partnering with has caused great harm to autistic people since its inception.
It is a way for Nickelodeon to quickly lose its audience, above all else. Although they removed the post shortly after, Nickelodeon still has not apologized or taken accountability for their actions.
That is why there is a petition on change.org to get the company to hold themselves accountable and ally with us rather than silence us. Would you be willing to help create the change?