Tuesday, October 13, 2015

An Open Letter to Sony Pictures Animation

To whom it may concern:

Sadly it was brought to my attention that your film Hotel Transylvania 2 has partaken in some very disturbing disease shaming. My 6 year old son was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 3. Since his diagnosis we have encountered many companies that continue to fuel the stigma that Diabetes is caused by the consumption of sugar. Let me reassure you that no form of diabetes is solely caused by sugar or sugary foods. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body single handedly destroys the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas leaving the body unable to produce insulin. This means that my son has to have insulin therapy for the rest of his life to stay alive. There was no way to prevent, predict or cure my son from Type 1 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes can be caused by lifestyle, genetics and age again, not caused solely by consuming any amount of sugar. I find it astonishing that a company of your caliber would deem it even remotely  appropriate to make any disease a joke, not to mention in a children’s movie. You certainly don’t see people making fun of cancer and it can be self inflicted by lifestyle choices and eating habits, so why is it socially acceptable to make fun of diabetes? 
My two son’s ages 3 and 6 had never seen the movie Hotel Transylvania until this weekend and of course they loved it. Now my 6 year old son is begging to go and see Hotel Transylvania 2. How do you propose that I explain why he cannot go and see your movie? How do I explain to a 6 year old that a movie is making fun of his life threatening very serious disease, but it's just a "joke"? How do I explain that this movie is helping to perpetuate the stigma that my son caused his own disease by consuming too much sugar? 
I feel that you owe the entire 29.1 million U.S. diabetics a HUGE public apology for your ignorance and insensitivity to their disease. A disease that is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, which should be no laughing matter! A disease that leaves my son fighting for his life every minute of every single day for the rest of his life, which should be no laughing matter! I urge you to educate yourselves and your company about all forms of diabetes and their true causes. 
Lastly, I find it very appropriate that you make a substantial donation to an organization fighting to cure Diabetes in the name all of those children who cannot go and see your movie and those that have been hurt by your movie because of your poor judgment and lack of education. The damage that you've caused reaches so far beyond the diabetics sitting in those theater chairs, you've now given an entire audiance morally corrupt ammunition and the ok to make fun of a deadly disease. An audiance full of children who are so innocent, yet soak up every ounce of the things they're exposed to in life. The fact that it was in a movie made for children is what upsets me the most, not only for my son's feelings but also for those children who don't know anything about diabetes. This movie is teaching them that it's ok to laugh at diabetes. These children could go on to potentially bully our diabetic children. What will they think when they see our children eating cake or sweets? These children could also think they'll get diabetes from eating cake or sweets. Absolutely nothing good can come from putting this content into children's films. Children learn what we teach them and no child should ever learn that it's acceptable to make fun of anyone with a disease or disability!

You can make your donation here: http://jdrf.org/ 

Here is a face of a child living with diabetes (see attachment). This was taken two weeks ago at our annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walk. On that day Joseph had been living with Type 1 Diabetes for 996 days and had endured over: 201 Insulin Pump Infusions, 92 Continuous Glucose Monitor Sites, 9960 Blood Sugar checks, 1540 Insulin Injections and that is NO laughing matter!
I hope that you will recognize the severity of this issue and take the necessary steps to make it right. 
I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Alicia Pescetti-mother of Joseph a Type 1 Diabetic