The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017
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NDSS Statement on Comedian Gary Owen

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is appalled by the language and the manner in which Gary Owen portrays people with disabilities during his recent special Gary Owen: I Agree With Myself, which aired on Showtime. In his comedy routine, Mr. Owen mocks people with intellectual disabilities by repeatedly using the word “retard” and by imitating their actions, movements and speech in a derogatory and offensive manner.

As the national advocate for the value and acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome, we maintain a zero tolerance policy for this type of mockery and offense. NDSS stands with the Special Olympics and the litany of other organizations, as we call for Showtime to remove this piece from all Showtime outlets. We also expect an apology from Mr. Owen and hope to engage in a meaningful dialogue with him so that his future routines will not include negative portrayals of individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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