TV portrayal of diabetics, Hannah Montana controversy. What's your take?


(Deckard) #1

Lately there has been a fair amount of talk about Hannah Montana in the diabetes community and the show than never aired in the states titled "No Sugar".  The controversy involving parents of Type I diabetics contacting Disney to condemn the shows poor representation concerning one character (Oliver) that struggles with diabetes and the common adolescent  wants for candy and sugar.  From what I gather Disney pulled the show and will replace it with a modified version sometime this month.

I have until tonight never seen a full episode of Hannah Montana and somewhat dreaded putting myself through 22 minutes of poor comedic writing about teenage angst and tribulation.  I was pleasantly surprised at the mature delivery and fairly smart albeit silly dialog it offered.   I did indeed watch the full episode in question and you can too, it's available on Youtube in three parts starting with this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u3qbLQ1ed0&feature=related

Once you watch it the contoversy will be appearant so I will withhold my personal comment at this time. What I want is for you to watch (if you haven't already) and tell the forum what you think.  As an adult or parent of a Type I how off the mark where they and did they deserve the wrath of the diabetes community?


(DillonJ) #2

i just spent half an hour an watched this and i really don't have much against it. although i don't like it it's really not that much in my opinion. while the information in the episode was not entirely true it wasn't that false either. i would prefer it if it was about another part of diabetes instead of that, because that's already a pretty big stereotype surrounding diabetes that i'd really like to see gone. i would have been fine if they had not pulled the episode but i guess it's more of a good thing that they did.


(kbuckleync) #3

Hmmmm....I just watched the whole thing.  It's too bad that in this day and age that they didn't just consult a doctor to see if they had their facts straight.  Very disappointing.  Bums me out that they're prolonging, rather than helping to get rid of, the old stereotype.


(ajax) #4

i'm interested to see the modified version - it seems like it would take a quite big change to make it accurate, and 22 minutes of disney channel doesn't seem like the place for it.

in the days after i was diagnosed, i definitely felt just like Oliver does, and i think this episode will only make that feeling stronger in anyone who sees it anytime before they're diagnosed. i also thought it was interesting and strange that insulin was never addressed - nothing about shots or anything! what, syringes too risqué for Disney?


(kneazle_lady) #5

Wow. I just watched it. You know, that's one of the most offensive portrayals of "diabetes" I have ever seen. How wrong can they possibly have gotten it?!?

I really liked, however, the response posted to its being taken down. That article (the one that talked about the real reason why the episode was "yanked") clarified the myths of T1 and T2 very nicely, and I appreciated it. Few defenses of reason (related to T1) are as carefully or clearly written as that particular article was.

Yes, the Hannah Montana writers and show deserved the wrath of anyone who has had to endure the thoughtless thousand idiotic comments by woefully uninformed commentators (you know...YOU CAN'T EAT THAT!!!) and also, sometimes, cruel, people who think they know all about T1, enough to declare things like a person who leaned over my shoulder as I was treating an insulin reaction with sugar and told his buddies that I was diabetic, couldn't eat sugar, and was a pig for doing so.


(samryan2997) #6

I really hated the fact that they called oliver "Sugar boy"


(lizzyhopes) #7

It bothered me quite a bit. I usually don't watch anything on Disney Channel, but after reading about this, I made myself sit down and watch. I felt so misrepresented. I know that it's not personal, but you'd think they would pull their resources and try to make it more accurate and realistic. It was horrible to me how they portrayed the stereotypical "NO SUGAR" thing.

It is wicked hard to readjust to normal life after being diagnosed...but... I don't know. I was just disappointed.


(ajax) #8

So, the new episode aired on sunday. It's called Uptight (Oliver's Alright), and it is a HUGE improvement. There's an awkward moment at the end where they sit on a couch and talk about the things they've learned today (which works much better in south park), but other than that, it did a really good job. Although I definitely want the kind of meter Oliver has - you apparently just have to hold it and it gives you a number! Anyone who watched the old episode should watch the new one!

 

I applaud Disney for listening to the feedback and re-filming and editing the show. It pretty much made my night, even though I don't care for the slapstick comedy style.


(Sweeney3358) #9

The orignal did not represent Diabetics as well as the newer version but neither did a good job. I am appaled at disney for making diabetics look bad and the fact that they made the  effort to make a character diabetic but yet they don't take the time to explain it as well as they should of


(BrianPQuinn) #10

I never saw the new version of this episode. I did track down the old version though. I have to admit that it was weird at some points and could be considered offensive. I mean it was a good attempt and all even if it was not right. I think back to some of the other shows that have portrayed various illnesses. I think back to the late 80's and Different Strokes and epilepsy and many other things. They are never just right. If I ever find the "new" episode that I don't have to pay to see I will try to give it an honest look. I mean if nothing else at least Disney tried to make an effort. I can't say it was 100% awesome but it was something at least.


(rainbow_squid) #11

wait does the kid seriously have diabetes tho??? if he does i think there is some type of consperacy with disney and type 1....


(BrianPQuinn) #12

Not at all. They are just playing it off on the diabetes being the in thing what with Nick Jonas and all. Or at least that is my own personal take on things.


(dancetiludrop) #13

so on my post in teens turns out that i watched the wrong video to end it and i also learned that i have the same meter as him but it is much better than i innititally thought it was going to be