Dear Seth MacFarlane,
This is not the first time that the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) has responded to comments made on Family Guy at the expense of people with Down syndrome, like me. If our outreach has not been enough to compel you to stop your hurtful targeting of people with Down syndrome, I want to personally write you on behalf of NDSS and tell you why your words are hurtful.
I am Daniel Goodrow, an 18-year-old high school senior from Essex Junction, Vermont. I am a self-advocate and serve as an NDSS DS-Ambassador for Vermont, and I have Down syndrome. I want to share my thoughts in response to the episode of Family Guy that aired on January 6, 2013, in which the character Peter says, “… on the way back we’re stopping at that Down syndrome camp we passed.” Lois responds, “Peter, that was the University of Florida.” I hope this will be the last time we have to contact you regarding this issue.
People who make such ignorant references to people who have Down syndrome certainly don't know anyone who has Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome are more like other people than they are different. They, unfortunately, are not given the chances that other people have because of misunderstandings that people have about Down syndrome. The ignorant things that Family Guy says about us just make it worse.
Next time you consider including a “joke” at the expense of people with Down syndrome on your show, think of me and learn from my example. Learn, as I have, to celebrate what makes us different. Stop using people like me to get a laugh.
NDSS Vermont DS-Ambassador
National Down Syndrome Society