Parody Of Disability Is Offensive Illegality -Trey La

Musician and social activist, Trey La, has pointed out that it is very offensive, as it is illegal, that entertainment content includes pappy-shows of disability.

In a write-up on the issue, La, whose birth name is Dumenu Charles Selorm, cites both international and local laws as being prohibitive of the parody of disability.

“The Persons with Disability Act 715, enacted in 2006, safeguards and entrenches the right of people with disability against exploitation and discrimination. Section 4 (1) states, a person shall not discriminate against, exploit or subject a person with disability to abuse or degrading treatment,” he cites.

In spite of this, he says that the entertainment scene in Ghana is replete with contents that parody the misfortune of disabled persons for effect.

From music to comedy, through to movies, he points out, disabled people are mocked by way of pappy shows, saying the practice is an offensive illegality.

As Ghana’s entertainment industry grows and stimulate demands for actors, comedians and musicians, he says, the effort to present content materials to satisfy demand has seen entertainers draw on the disability of the disabled.

“In comedy circles, most highly rated comedians on many occasions have said such derogatory jokes about disabled people to get laughs from audience of our kind. Humour has been deduced from people with speech impairment, people who stammer, people with epileptic seizures, people with Down syndrome and people with disabilities generally.

“This evil is done in movies, music videos and many other forms of entertainment. The inappropriate oral presentation and visual depiction of people with disabilities as entertainment content in the mainstream, apart from it being illegal and exploitative, damages the self esteem and disempowers people with disabilities as their self-confidence and self-esteem is sapped away.”

Trey La said the exploitation is a shameful illegality that must come to an end immediately, asserting that it is not only the artistes that are to blame but the audiences who patronize such entertainment, as well.

He cites the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which Ghana is signatory to as an underscore of the inappropriateness of such exploitation.

He also cites specific provisions in the 1992 Constitution as proof of legal prohibition.

“The Ghanaian 1992 Constitution states clearly in Article 17 (1) that, ’all persons shall be equal before the law (2) a person shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.

“Also, Article 12 (2) of the Ghanaian constitution states that ‘every person in Ghana, whatever race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed, or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of individual contained in chapter (5) but subject to the respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.”

Trey La said the continuous perpetration of such parody is an illegality that the whole society must rise up and fight, decrying the fact that society has picked on people with disability for far too long.

He makes a clarion call on the entire Ghanaian society to take steps to fight the canker: “Let us begin to say no to such content and ensure sanity in all forms of entertainment.”


Source: Saul Paul

The Republic News Online

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