MANILA, Philippines – What started out as an innocent crossing of paths between two actors turned into a bad joke.
Actors Arjo Atayde, who plays Elai on the ABS-CBN primetime drama The General's Daughter, and Ken Chan, who plays Boyet of GMA 7's My Special Tatay, ran into each other at an event. Both actors' characters are that of children with special needs, and right on the spot, the two came up with a skit – what if Elai and Boyet crossed paths?
Both actors uploaded the video of their skit on Instagram, where they portrayed their respective characters.
It did not sit well with advocates who look out for the welfare of people on the spectrum.
In a statement, the Autism Society of the Philippines, Best Buddies Philippines, and the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines "strongly condemn the mimicry of individuals with autism and other developmental or intellectual disabilities on social media for entertainment."
Rappler talks to advocates Mona Veluz, president of the Autism Society of the Philippines, and Michelle Aventajado, executive director of Best Buddies Philippines about holding celebrities and entertainment organizations to account and enjoining them to take a stronger stance against ridiculing people with special needs. – Rappler.com