• Petitioned Editor

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The Daily Beast
Editor
Editor, The Daily Beast
Tina Brown (Editor, The Daily Beast)

Tina Brown, The Daily Beast: Apologize for Calling Autistic Men Pedophiles

    1. Petition by

      The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

News organizations in the modern world shouldn't have to be told that stereotypes hurt. When sensational articles stigmatize vulnerable minorities and people with disabilities, there are real consequences in real life. That is why journalistic codes of ethics uniformly condemn such material.

Reprehensibly, the Daily Beast ignored this basic rule of ethics when it published an article by Eustacia Cutler entitled "Autism and Child Pornography: A Toxic Combination." The article asserts, without supplying any statistical evidence whatsoever, that "many" Autistic men are attracted to child pornography and that this is "a disturbing trend we cannot ignore,” concluding that Autistic men often "are stuck emotionally at a prepubescent age. They look like grown men, but inside they’re only 10 years old. They don’t want adults to show them how sex is done; they want 10-year-olds to show them."

In fact, there is no link between Autistic men and pedophilia. Furthermore, people with disabilities, including Autistics, are far more often victims of crime, including sexual abuse, than perpetrators. This articles added insult to injury, placing Autistic people at even greater risk of being shunned by neighbors, taunted by bullies, and rejected by potential employers. By publishing this groundless, hateful smear, the Daily Beast has singled out an already vulnerable population for increased stigma. The Daily Beast MUST issue a retraction and apologize for the harm done to the Autistic community.

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    1. Reached 750 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Troy Camplin RICHARDSON, TX
      • 6 months ago

      I am signing this because this is an example of gross journalistic irresponsibility. Can we even call such journalism?

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    • Kevin Kelly LA MESA, CA
      • 6 months ago

      We call saying words like bigger, epic, regard horrible labels just to name a few, but how would you like to have labels defining you as the opposite of who you are for being autistic. Serial killer, psychopath, child killer, rapist, stalker? This disgusting sexist community has to stop and its this reason why even when their are as many dogs as humans, I still value a dogs life greatly more than a humans life.

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    • Stanley Jaskiewicz PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • 8 months ago

      If there is one thing I have learned as the parent of a child with autism, it is that "if you've seen one person with autism, you've seen one person with autism" - having a disability doesn't allow generalization. Ms. Cutler's work with her daughter certainly proved the truth of that statement, and we all should give persons with autism the benefit of that individuality.

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    • Tracy Wright ANN ARBOR, MI
      • 9 months ago

      I work with young adults that are on the spectrum and find this type of journalism deplorable and outrageous. I have found no evidence that supports these allegations. An apology does not undo the damage done by this type of sensationalist fantasy.

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    • Erin Seigh METUCHEN, NJ
      • 9 months ago

      Just because Ms Cutler is mother to Temple Grandin does not give her a right to make such vile, outrageous, and unsubstaciated claims against males with autism. How dare teh Dailt Beast be so irresponsible to prints something so discriminatory in nature.

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