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Please complain to the BBC

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Op.cit

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Below is a link to the Graham Norton show where a story is told by a psychiatric nurse about a patient who was clearly suffering. (22.30 minutes into the clip)

Making mentally ill people the butt of jokes should be unacceptable. I found it offensive.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006xnzc

If you find it offensive as well please complain to the BBC. You can write or email. Address on BBC site below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/homepage/

The more people who complain the better.

Op.cit
 
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Op.cit

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This is a copy of the complaint I have submitted.

Dear Sir,

At 22.30 on the above link Jo Brand told a story an offensive story about mentally ill people.

Making the mentally ill the butt of jokes in this day and age is offensive and unacceptable. If the person had been black, gay or had a learning disability this story would never have been broadcast.

Portraying mentally ill people in such a negative way at a time when they are obviously unwell is cheap way of getting a laugh and is offensive.

This sort of portrayal just adds to the stigma and prejudice that people with a mental illness suffer from.

A public apology is warranted not least to the individual concerned whose confidentiality has been violated.

Please do send a complaint like this and feel free to copy from mine.

Op.cit
 
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penelope

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Thanks for that Op-Cit. My names on the list. It was not a good joke was it?
 
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Op.cit

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Thanks Penelope!

I have also written to the timetochange campaign asking them to complain as well. They should be interested as it portrayals like this that will undo all the work that they are doing.

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/contact-us

Regards,
Op.cit
 
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penelope

Guest
The thing is that Jo Brand was part of comic relief who has funded Time for Change, so you think you would think, she should know better.

I really liked jo brand but I have never heard her be so callous as that with patients she cared for before.
 
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Op.cit

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Yes, you would have hoped she would know better.

It is the whole tone of the anecdote that she tells. It starts with some one behaving oddly in a graveyard. Then there is a mention of no less than six police. This is followed up with the pigeon. You couldn’t make up a more salacious story if you wanted to. Telling a story like this just feeds into public ignorance about the reality of mental illness. It is no wonder that people keep their suffering to themselves and suffer in silence perhaps not getting the help they need, when this is the public image of illness.

I think Jo Brand tells the story because she ironically think it makes her look good or somehow a more interesting person. In fact to people with an illness it does just the opposite. Here we have a nurse who thinks it is acceptable to go on national television and make a mentally ill person the butt of a joke so she can sell her book.

We must not let public figures think they can make people with an illness the subject of ridicule and get away with it. That is why I hope a lot of people complain.
 
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schizolanza

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I doubt the story she told was taken from real life.I'm not convinced that was what she was doing.How could someone possibly fit a pigeon in their mouth? How many mentally ill people do you know who bite the heads off pigeons when they are off on one?
 
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Op.cit

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Olanza

I think you might be right. She well have made the story up. As you say it is hardly a representative story about mental illness. It is clearly a story designed to be as gory as possible with the intention of drawing attention to herself. What it really does is thoughtlessly portray a person with mental health issues in the worst possible light.
 
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diddypinks

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innocent jo

jo is a comediene. would it have been as enetertaining had she said no we performed a procedure on this guy and then stayed silent it was not HER at fault but the POLICE. i defy ANYONE to work in the conditions that she was WITHOUT a sense of humour she was obviousley a dedicated nurse working hard every day because she DOES care easy for us armchair philosophors to critisize but it was the POLICE that were at fault and sadly she is getting the blame.
 
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Op.cit

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Jo has made a mistake by telling a story that pokes fun at a person when they are at their most vulnerable. The person in the story has been made the butt of a joke for a cheap laugh. The person in the story has been made to look undignified and ridiculed. If you were the person who had bitten a birds head off when you were unwell would you want this talked about on television so other people could laugh about it? I doubt it.

You need a sense of humour to work in Mental Healthh services. It can be stressful. That does not give you the right to laugh at the people you are supposed to be caring for though. Why tell such a horrible story?

The comments made by the police that Jo mentions are also in poor taste but that does not absolve Jo Brand. She has done harm to people with a mental illness by feeding into negative stereotypes and images.

I am sure she has done plenty of good work. She is not a bad person I am sure. She has made a mistake in this case and it is very sad because she was a nurse and she should know better. I am sure that if she thought about this she would agree, she should not have told this terrible story to get a laugh.
 
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Op.cit

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DiagnosisBipolar

It is an interesting article.

What I would say is that as a community of service users we all have different ideas and opinions. We need to respect each other.

Part of respecting each other is to acknowledge when we have got something wrong.

In this case Jo Brand got it wrong. It does not make her bad it just shows she is human. We owe it to each other to point out to each other when we are wrong so that we can make things better and put them right.

Regards,
Op.cit
 
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dreambuggieII

Guest
just watching the jo brand thing from thelink.

jo brand is usually pretty un-funny (one more fat joke and I'll keel over in pain) she's running low on material...probs appealing to popular guffaws...fame and laughter are so contrived.

sorry to rant - would like to say something after I've watched.
 
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dreambuggieII

Guest
drat she got a fat joke in before the actual bit

not one to cause dissent - humour is very tricky.

we may have to agree to disagree on this one.

sorry

but thanks for posting the link.
 
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Op.cit

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Dreambuggy

No problem. I have spoken with enough people who took objection to the anecdote to feel justified in the complaint.

What is acceptable to laugh at has always been controversial. People used to go to mental hospitals just to laugh and gawp at the patients. Now we have TV so Jo Brand can tell us what they get up to when they are really unwell and give us all a good laugh that way. If she sells a few books on the way I dont expect she cares what damage she does to the public perception of people who are sometimes unwell. Money talks.

It looks like she is happy to put a "right on" story in the newspaper and then act in a diffrent way when it comes to plugging her book.

Most people can remember a time when we laughed at drunk driving stories, poked fun at people with disabilities, and entertained racial sterotypes in the name of comedy. Today all those topics are in the comedy dustbin. Righly so.

Rome was not built in a day. To change peoples minds takes time.

Regards,
Op.cit
 
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