Last week I had a phone call from Mike Talbot, who is the father to a young boy with Down syndrome. He lives in Ipswich, which is one of the many locations where Frankie Boyle will be performing his stand up show over the coming months.
Mr Talbot wanted to let me know about a letter he had sent to his local council, and to share their response with me. I asked him whether I could also post it to this blog and he agreed.
He also wanted me to let you know his thoughts on the matter
"I emailed Frankie Boyles Management agency prior to emailing the council. I did not get a reply. I think Mr. Boyle is an absolute coward. A lot of comedians cross the line but 99% would know when to stop or when to hold there hands up and apologize. What irked me most was Mr. Boyle's lack of compassion to anyone with a disability. I admire Sharon's approach to this situation. As a parent of a very beautiful and happy child with down syndrome my self I wish Sharon and her family all the best for the future. With all the positive approaches in the media with regards to down syndrome it is sad that Mr. Boyle does not feel the same. Shame on you Mr. Boyle"
I would like to thank Mike for bringing this to my attention and for allowing me to share it on the blog with everyone.
I dont believe in censorship, and think that all topics are fair game for comedians to use in their material, but i am disappointed that Frankie Boyle continues to use the same material in his shows. Not because I dont think he should talk about people with Down syndrome, but because he is still using material that is based on prejudice and stereotypes, despite lots of online and press coverage showing him that his material is no better than playground bullying.
He could have used this as an opportunity to change his material, to show that he is a clever comedian who pushes boundaries but who has a valid point to make. It seems now that the only point he has to make is that he continues to tell these jokes because he can and because he likes to shock. Poor show Frankie, poor show....