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 Post subject: Irresponsible Media
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 10:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Has anyone else come across the subject of allergies depicted in an ignorant way in the media?

Two examples come to mind.

Last year, there was a TV commercial for Nutella and their slogan was something to the effect of "a good idea for your child's lunch". I didn't like it one bit, given the fact that it is difficult enough to get schools to put their peanut/nut free environments into practice. Encouraging parents to pack a Nutella sandwich (which I think is gross, by the way :? ) for their kids is a bad idea. Obviously it is a hazelnut spread and it is one of the top foods that is easily cross contaminated with peanuts. Perhaps some people complained because I didn't see the commercial anymore after that.

The second example of blatant ignorance and stupidity is the movie Monster in Law with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda. Has anyone else seen this? By the way, I didn't watch the movie by choice, it was an in-flight movie. Apart from the fact that the movie is insipidly stupid :roll: , what really bothered me was the way they used the female lead's (Lopez) allergies as humourous. Get this: Jennifer Lopez is engaged to a medical doctor, whose mother is Jane Fonda. Jane hates Jennifer because she thinks she is not good enough for her son. She goes to any means to destroy their relationship. One time over lunch at a restaurant, Jennifer casually mentions she is allergic to nuts, peanuts, soy and whatever else. She does this AFTER she orders a salad with almonds. She returns it and asks them to bring her a salad without almonds. As someone who supposedly has been dealing with allergies for a long time, she certainly isn't very responsible about eating out. Oh but it gets worse: Jane Fonda is invited to dinner at the "happy couple's" home the night before the wedding. There are a bunch of nuts in their kitchen (what allergic person would have nuts in their home??) and Jane becomes tempted to grind them and add them to the gravy. Her personal assistant discourages her from serving the gravy to Jennifer (not because it could KILL her, but because it will make her face swollen the day of her wedding). No mention of what a DEADLY act this would be. But of course, as the movie gets more and more ridiculous, the gravy is mistakenly served to Jennifer Lopez who starts to feel ill immediately. Kind of like clutching her throat. Cut to (I'm assuming) several hours later, she is in bed, her fiance (the MEDICAL DOCTOR, remember??) tells her that the swelling in her lips will go down by the next morning (this is supposed to be funny, by the way... I wasn't laughing). No visit to the emergency room, no Epipen... just "swelling". And of course, the next day Jennifer's face is as beautiful as ever. Give me a break. Not only is this irresponsible media, they are sending a deadly message. First of all, they are saying that allergies are not deadly, they are humourous situations (look at the lady's lips swelling up ha ha), and they depict a totally unrealistic view of what allergies truly are. The last thing we need is irresponsible filmmakers undoing all the hard work we all do to create awareness and educate the public of the seriousness of allergies. I was completely disgusted by this movie.. plus it was really really bad!! I'm glad it was a flop... I would have hated for lots of people to see this movie and get incorrect, unrealistic information about allergies. I know Hollywood is supposed to be make-believe but this was plain ignorance, plain and simple.


Last edited by Storm on Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Hi Storm,

There's a thread started on this topic here: http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=160&highlight=cultural+representations

I had heard about that movie before (on this website, I think)---don't quote me on this, but I think FAAN protested. I haven't seen the movie--I had heard that the mother in law took revenge through allergies, but I didn't realize quite how awful it was until I read your post! I actually want to see the movie now only so I can complain about it---I'm not going to spend any money on such an awful movie so I'll wait until it is on T.V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 927
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Grrr... that is frustrating to read. Until parents of non-allergic children have walked a mile in the shoes of parents of allergic children, they really cannot fathom what we go through. I realise this everyday. But I did not realise this prior to having a child with severe food allergies. As a parent to a child diagnosed with food allergies at 12 months of age, we have found it very challenging to protect our child during these very young years. Even at 3 years of age, he cannot care for himself. He cannot be expected to care for his own health (nor can he tie his own shoes, zip up his own coat, etc. etc.) Of course, we work very hard teaching him about his allergies, and he often asks us prior to taking food "peanuts in it? sesame seeds in it?" (etc. etc. as his list includes peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, mustard seed, egg, fish, green peas and pineapple.) (Geez, sometimes I have trouble remembering everything on his list, how can I expect him to remember?)

Of course we are teaching our children to care for themselves, but in the case of young children, cooperation from others is so very necessary as these children cannot yet care for themselves. But we parents of allergic children must always be aware that people are out there that do not realise the impact of introducing these unsafe foods around our allergic child. Surely, if they had a child, or someone in their family with this life threatening condition, they would certainly change their ways. We can never let our guard down and assume our children are ever as safe anywhere else but in the home we have provided. We must do our best to teach our child, and when they are very young, we cannot allow them to have the same freedoms a non-allergic child may have (eg. taking part in birthday party celebrations, playing at a friend's house without us being there to oversee their play, going for a walk up the street without an Epipen attached to their body, etc.)

As much as it is frustrating to read this, and I wish it weren't like this, it is a reality we must always face, be aware of, do our best to guard against, prepare for, and do our best to live with it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 927
Location: Oakville, Ontario
... just realised that I posted under this similar subject heading, but I actually meant to post under "Allergies in the News" under "frustrated". I was responding the the article found in the Winnipeg Sun.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:25 pm
Posts: 3
I'm with you Storm- I just could not believe my eyes when I watched this movie- two of the most admired, intelligent women actors in Hollywood using this allergy situation for A LAUGH!! :twisted: it is sooo absolutely stunningly stupid, moronic and dangerous!! I felt sick!! It makes severe allergy just look like its hives! Unbelievable!
I think this forum should raise our own protest!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Thanks, willo. I'm glad people are protesting. If anyone has info on FAAN's protest, please post here.


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