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Don’t Market Your Product Like this, Denis Leary

Leary's career - soon to be up in flames?

Leary's career soon to be up in flames?

C’mon Denis!  Is your confidence in your abilities and “talents” so low that you have to pick on children with autism?

For those not in the know, Denis Leary has a new book due next month, “Why We Suck.”  In the meantime, his pre-press release includes some snippets where one chapter in his book called Autism Schmautism says, “There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can’t compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you – yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.”

Leary is also cited in Vanity Fair where he hopes that people like Jenny McCarthy, famed autism mother, will organize people to picket his book tour because that will only help his book sales.  Say it with me – “PUBLICITY STUNT.”

Seriously, this blogger doesn’t get on his soap box too often, but it’s high time when you decide to target children and parents who have a challenge each day bringing up their child with so many unanswered questions regarding autism.  It is so disgusting when celebrities think that they can use their status to make judgements on things they either don’t understand or are too ignorant to research first.  To date Leary’s only apology has been in the form of a misunderstanding towards what his book is really about and that you have to read it to understand.  Uh, OK – drop $20 to affirm your publishing house’s press release that you’re an insensitive and arrogant bully?

Take action with me – write an email to his publisher Viking-Penguin.  Ask them if this is responsible writing and wait for the answer…

Wait a minute!  Do you smell something?  Is that from the set of Denis Leary’s show, “Rescue Me?”  Is that a burning building from the set I smell?  Oh wait, I know what it is.  That’s called the beginning of the end of a career…

OK, I’m off my soap box, but in all honesty – is all this bad PR worth selling a few books at the expense of children with autism AND their parents?  Strategically, and sadly, this conversation will undoubtedly cause people to buy the book.  For those who are looking to spend $20 a different way, choose a local charity or autism foundation.

(Full disclosure:  when I’m not blogging, I work with Children’s Care Hospital and School where 60% of our children have autism or behavioral challenges and where positive changes are made despite the ignorance of those unfamiliar with what autism is really about.)