A 30-second spot for the Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign,
"Not Acceptable" seeks to link the R-Word with other hateful slurs that have been stricken from polite speech. It does this unflinchingly, as people from various minority groups look at the camera, say one of those words we no longer say, and declare it not acceptable. Lauren Potter,
an actress with Down syndrome, appears at the end with Glee
co-star Jane Lynch to declare that "retard" is also not acceptable. The PSA will be appearing on Fox during the Glee
season finale, as well as on a majority of Fox's cable channels and regional sports networks, MTV, USA Network and Turner networks including TNT, TBS, truTV and CNN.
It's terrible that we have to broadcast hate speech to stop hate speech. I'd love to never have to hear the words spoken in this video, and it's sure to rub some viewers the wrong way. But it's been clear as the anti-R-Word campaign has developed
that many people see nothing wrong with the R-word, and feel that banning it is an infringement of their freedom of speech. Since the slurs spoken in this PSA have been largely eliminated from acceptable speech, it's hard to imagine why "retard" could not be as well -- and maybe it will take just such a black-and-white, connecting-the-dots PSA to make people see it that way. We can only hope.