Tell ABC Studios: "Swerving At Cyclists Is No Joke"

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Dear ABC Television, associated production companies, and Producers: Mr. Kenny Smith and Mr. Jonathan Groff,

On April 9, 2019, your network first aired an episode of Black-ish: “S5 E18 Andre Johnson: Good Person”, which portrayed the character Bow asking her spouse if she was a bad person because she “swerved at a cyclist just to scare them.” Her husband Dre replied that she wasn’t a bad person, and they both laughed at her confessing she’d done it “several times.”

The Wisconsin Bike Fed is one of the country's largest statewide bicycle advocacy organizations. We work to make bicycling safe, accessible and fun. We do that through teaching safe practices to both cyclists and drivers to promote safely sharing the road, advocating for people who ride bikes, and leading biking events. As a result Wisconsin has thousands of miles of paved shoulders and legislation requiring everyone to safely share the road. We share this mission with countless other non-profits globally.

We strongly condemn the reckless joke in the cited episode, as it normalizes and makes light of the very serious crime of vehicular assault. We are shocked ABC’s content review process didn’t find this joke socially irresponsible, and that no one in your review process considered far reaching impact of 11.8 Million viewers who would see this episode either at time of broadcast or in an on-demand format thereafter. Encouraging this kind of behavior as inconsequential puts real lives in danger. 

We ask you to take the following actions immediately: 

1) Remove the episode from internet viewing services, or, alter the episode to remove this “joke”.

2) Produce and air an education campaign to undo the certain damage you’ve done to the safety of every person who bikes the roads by creating a public service message (1) to give people biking 3 or more feet of clearance when passing (required by law in most states) and (2) that threatening any person walking or biking with a vehicle is a crime. We, and millions of cyclists nationwide await your response.

In Service to All People Who Bike--

The Wisconsin Bike Fed

Dave Schlabowske, Executive Director 

Rachel Pomeroy, Deputy Director 

Traci Elliott, Board Chair 

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