Glee Star Decries Use of Word “RETARD” in Ad “Spread the Word to End the Word” Campaign

April 19, 2012

A public service announcement featuring “Glee” star Jane Lynch decrying use of the word “retard” is being honored for its fearless take on the issue. The ad in support of the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign is one of four winners of the YouTube-backed DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards in the “Fearless Video” category, besting over 1,000 entrants for the title.

Dubbed “Not Acceptable,” the PSA includes Lynch alongside her “Glee” co-star Lauren Potter, who has Down syndrome. The two liken use of the r-word to other derogatory terms like “nigger” and “fag.” “The r-word is the same as every minority slur. Treat it that way and don’t use it,” says Lynch in the PSA, which debuted last spring with spots on network and cable television. [To read the full article “R-Word PSA Receives YouTube Award by Shaun Heasley, click 15413]


“Not Acceptable” is a powerful and compelling 30 second public service announcement which gives voice to a variety of diverse communities each of whom expresses that it is not acceptable to call them by what were once common words, but are now recognized as offensive slurs. It culminates in actress and self-advocate Lauren Potter from “Glee” stating that it is not acceptable to use the word ‘retard’ and she and “Glee” co-star Jane Lynch make a call to action to stop using the word and to promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to make their pledge online at http://r-word.org.

The PSA was launched by the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, an on-going initiative from Special Olympics and Best Buddies to eradicate the derogatory use of the word “retard(ed)” from everyday use and promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Not Acceptable” was executive produced by Jim Serpico and Tom Sellitti of New York based Apostle, and shot, produced and edited by Spot On Productions from City Island, NY.

The PSA is supported by several national advocacy organization including the Anti-Defamation League, Special Olympics, Best Buddies, GLAAD, The Hispanic Federation, National Puerto Rican Coalition, The Asian-American Foundation, AbilityPath.org and the NAACP.

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