I was asked to comment about this in the Telegraph today by the Hon Bill Shorten, who is the man behind the amount of publicity this has received, and Federal Secretary for Disabilities. He is very passionate about this issue.
Now, I am a huge fan of GNW and have been since way back to its ABC days. They push the envelope all the time. Look at the Bindi Irwin crack. No one thought that was funny, even though it was, you weren’t allow to say it was. You can’t pick on a little girl like that. Good News Week is getting very close to being able to compare it to The Chaser War on Anything.
As a parent of autistic children who has to live with its trials 24 hours a day. I have to say I was disgusted by the autism cracks by Russell Cane (who incidentally cracks not funny autism jokes on twitter every now and then, he needs new material I think) and felt let down by a show I’ve loved for a long time. Channel 10 is really to blame though, they should not have aired it with the jokes in it. And removing them would not have affected the continuity at all in my opinion.
The upside of this is that it has attracted attention during Autism Awareness month, as it was otherwise receiving very little despite various groups propaganda. Personally I have invested a lot of time into promoting Autism awareness, and the jokes just made that effort feel slightly pointless.