Parents say disabled kids’ host is "scary"

BBC has a kids’ show called the Bedtime Hour, and co-host Cerrie Burnell only has half an arm, due to a genetic disorder. Parents are complaining that they won’t let their kids watch the show for fear Burnell’s disability will scare the kids, or that the BBC is going “overboard with diversity.”


This is the same mentality that says, “Don’t talk to kids about death or illness. Lie to them.”

This is the same mentality that says, “Don’t let the kids watch ‘scary shows'”, not out of concern for their spiritual development but out of a desire to keep them “happy and carefree”, to avoid having to deal with any kind of sadness or pain.

2 responses to “Parents say disabled kids’ host is "scary"

  1. Our family physician is a wheelchair-bound Catholic who we run into at Mass from time to time. When my kids ask about his disability, I tell them how wonderful it is that he has a wheelchair that lets him get around, even though his legs don’t work.

    Rebecca and John love pretending to fight dragons and monsters with a sword (baseball bat) and shield (top of a drum). They also love to watch me play Zelda. I was a little worried at first about all the monsters in the game, but when they started cheering me on to go attack the killer plants, evil bats, and other creatures, I realized I had nothing to fear on that count. On the contrary, they displayed a courageous attitude toward standing up to evil.

    There are plenty of things in the world to be afraid of, but I think kids are naturally brave. It’s hard enough to teach our kids a healthy respect for real dangers. We’re always having to remind our kids, for instance, not to race each other up the stairs in our house, and to hold onto the railing. I’ve found a few black widows in my yard, too, so I’ve told them to never touch spiders. If parents paid more attention to genuine threats, their kids would be better for it.

    Rather than shield kids from things that are safe, but potentially scary-looking, we should let them grow up free from the kind of reactions the parents you mention are experiencing themselves, and passing on to their kids.

  2. John C. Hathaway


    Gianna is afraid of the Gorgs on _Fraggle Rock_ and of shows like _Strawberry Shortcake_ or _Care Bears_, but she loves watching _He-Man_, _Transformers_, etc.

    A year or so ago, I challenged her on the apparent contradiction, and it occurred to me:
    On the “nice shows,” the witches/monsters/whatever are taught to “be nice,” and everyone forgives them. While that’s a good Christian sentiment, it’s a little advanced for her brain to understand.
    On _He-Man_, the monsters get beat up and run away.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s