Actress Holly Robinson Peete (pictured left) gave rapper 50 Cent (pictured) a piece of her mind, after he tweeted what he thought was a joke about autism on his Twitter site. The incensed Mom, who has a child with autism, shamed the hip-hop mogul on her website, forcing him to remove the offensive tweet from his site, reports the Huffington Post.
Since Peete’s oldest child, Rodney, Jr., had autism, she has become a staunch advocate of educating folks about the condition that strikes 1 in 88 children. Consequently, Peete immediately responded to 50 Cent, when he insulted one of his Twitter followers by telling him that he looked autistic.
Initially, a Twitter follower wrote to 50 Cent, “Release the album or get shot again.” In response, 50 reportedly wrote, “Yeah just saw your picture fool you look autistic.” Later on he posted, “I dont want no special ed kids on my time line follow some body else.”
Not only was Peete offended, but many in twitterverse were also taken aback by 50’s insensitive comments. Without wasting a second, Peete sprung in to action and wrote an open letter to 50 on her website, asking him to stop using such hurtful language on his platform that is followed by 8 million-plus fans. She also expressed how hurt and disappointed she was by his thoughtless actions. Peete graciously put the rapper in his place by presenting not only stats but giving him information about what autism really is so that he could fully understand the what was wrong with his comment:
I’ve met you in passing over the years and I know you are a bright, astute businessman and legitimate philanthropist so it is with a bit of sincere confusion that I ask you… Do you even know what autism is? And what exactly does “autistic” look like? Do you know how wildly prevalent autism is?
1 in 88 have it. That’s 1 in 54 boys. Families suffer a social stigma you will never know. It is a financial and emotional drain for millions, so our non-profit- HollyRod Foundation works hard to raise funds to help these families cope.
As far as putting a face to autism, she presented her 13-year-old handsome son. The former star of “21 Jump Street” wrote:
Finally, this is my son Rodney Peete. He has autism. So I guess this is what autistic looks like? He is in special ed. He loves rap music and is a HUGE fan of yours. He’s a tremendous kid. He has to deal with so much trying to fit in. This isn’t helping.
Even though 50 has deleted his Twitter comments from his site, there are those followers whose lives have been touched by autism who are demanding an apology from him. Some have even suggested boycotting his products and music.
One man with Asperger Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum, thinks that 50, if nothing else, should have learned a huge lesson from this calamitous situation:
Everybody has their moments, but disability isn’t something that is normally used in a jovial and possibly insulting manner…..Offending those who have autism may not have been intentional but when thoughts are released into such a public space, always consider what is being said when people could be affected by it.