It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve had it. I’ve finally decided to boycott the Nostalgia Critic, as well as TGWTG in general, because I’m quite frankly fed the hell up with their ableist bullshit.
It is bizarre to think that thatguywiththeglasses.com totes itself as being open to diversity and welcoming to differences in race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity; yet most of their reviewers, especially the Nostalgia Critic, are so retrograde in their approach to talking about people with disabilities. In comparison to the episodes in which anyone on that website mouth off on their opinions on how to solve problems with representing general minorities, none of the content creators (I’ve checked) ever did a commentary or say something substantial about people with disabilities and their representations (or lack thereof) in media. To be fair, there have been some accommodating features to the website, such as trigger/epilepsy warnings in Matthew Buck’s (Film Brain’s) videos (BMB episodes with strobes) and Kyle Kallgren’s (Oancitizen’s) episodes on Lars von Trier’s “The Id*ots” and “Melancholia” were damn amazing at diving into perception of disability issues.
Those sentiments, however, are overwhelmed by the vast majority of the website proper, not just the Nostalgia Critic’s, and often people with disabilities find themselves the butt of crude jokes, outdated humor, or the token minority to be pushed under the bus when defending other minorities.
I think I reached my boiling point during the Nostalgia Critic’s episode of “The Purge” in which, not even five minutes into the review, he compared people with “serious mental illnesses” to terrorists and equated them as extremely dangerous individuals. That’s not “satire”, that’s not making any bold statement, (hell, in the context of the video, he wasn’t even being funny), and what Walker just did was reinforce a horrible and fallacious stereotype that, sadly, many (otherwise astute and perceptive) individuals strongly believe in.
After that moment in the video, I felt horribly sick, and I decided to write him an email and a post on his Facebook wall. Needless to say, I have not heard back from him (or anyone from that website) at all. Not even anyone working in PR.
In fact, ever since Todd in the Shadows reviewed a Jason Derulo song in which he used the r-slur and did not even apologize for, I sent the website several emails, none of which were ever responded to. While we’re on the subject of the r-slur, the Nostalgia Critic is notorious for using the r-slur. Also using the c-slur when talking about one of the few television shows out there that does not completely slander disability. It’s absolutely disgusting given the context that he supports better roles for women in media, is against racist stereotyping, and has a rather keen insight into the movies he watches for problematic material.
In other words, if the Nostalgia Critic can do more than enough research into a relatively small niche of the Japanese porn industry, he has absolutely no excuse not to do any research into how to make his videos and other content more accessible for people with disabilities and how to avoid problematic language in his videos.
A rant like this was a long time coming. Walker has been using ableist slurs more than any other minority slur (both casual and explicit ableist slurs), Walker has made fun of people with disabilities more than any other minority, and, to be honest, a lot of people are fed up with ableist content from an otherwise healthy and intellect-cultivating website. Reviewers in general happen to use ableist slurs a lot when describing material they do not approve of, or want to convey a certain material’s ineptitude in economic fashion without divulging into pretension, but internet reviewers are/should be smart enough to understand the ramification of problematic language toward vulnerable minorities (seeing as how most of the really popular internet reviewers are white, able-bodied, heterosexual males). The Nostalgia Critic is no different, and the Nostalgia Critic (and anything Walker does really) needs to rectify this grievance before he loses any more fans. The TGWTG hasn’t been doing all that well lately, and if the producers and content-providers on the site want to amend this downturn, they must be willing to change the way they approach minorities, especially people with disabilities. It’s rare to find a reviewer comment on ableism or avoid ableist content altogether, and I, as a person with multiple disabilities, would greatly appreciate the inclusiveness that TGWTG can feasibly provide.
P.S.: Walker also needs to stop using that Chester A. Bum character. The “bum stereotype” is indicative of the enormous homelessness spike for people with mental illnesses when many were forcibly deinstitutionalized from proper healthcare facilities. To see Walker further caricaturize that harmful stereotype is both classist and ableist and, given his better-than-average research into many things media-related, he should seriously know better.