As you are no doubt aware, Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol recently fired off a very revealing Facebook posting in regards to a Valentines Day episode of Family Guy in which a Down Syndrome girl was played by Andrea Friedman.
Bristol and Sarah took offense suggesting that the show was attacking their beloved Trig.
Sarah : "it felt like a another kick in the gut"Bristol: “When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them? As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks.
Sarah and Bristol, defenders of special needs children right? Yeah, not so much. Have you seen how Trig was treated on the book tour and campaign trail? Ah..well, that is another story altogether,
So, it has been a big todo as is everything Sarah does when she gets on her high horse about something. The problem with this situation? Well the woman who played the character Ellen on the Family Guy episode is Andrea Friedman and she has Down Syndrome. And it seems she has something to say to Sarah about Sarah's reaction. In fact Andrea felt so strongly about it she wrote an email and sent it to the New York Times. Sadly they didn't see fit to print the entire thing, opting instead to cut out parts of it. Luckily we've been given permission by Andrea's father to share a copy of the entire email.
My name is Andrea Fay Friedman. I was born with Down syndrome. I played the role of Ellen on the "Extra Large Medium" episode of Family Guy that was broadcast on Valentine's day. Although they gave me red hair on the show, I am really a blonde. I also wore a red wig for my role in " Smudge" but I was a blonde in "Life Goes On". I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line "I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska" was very funny. I think the word is "sarcasm".
In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.
Quite the take down! Congradulations Andrea on letting people know how you feel and for sharing what an incredible woman you are.
Now I will admit I am curious as to how Sarah will react to this email. But I was even more curious as to how Sarah's fans would react to this. Would they stand up and applaud this woman for making something of herself and making a choice about what she wanted to do? Would they ignore it?
It would have been better for them to ignore it altogether instead of reacting the way that many of them did.
i don't think this 40 year old down's syndrome woman wrote this or formulated these political opinions. my guess is that she is being used a political pawn, to accuse governor palin of using her infant son as a political pawn.
What has been "set straight"? So you thought the line was funny. Millions didn't. Get over it. You still get paid.
The only thing this "sets straigh" is that Andrea doesn't mind being exploited by script writers, and her own family, for their political biases. Read the last sentence again. As they say, "you are what you hate"...
Unfortunately Andrea may mind if she understood the complicated political arena she has been pushed into by her dad who set up this gig for her.
We need to protect out special needs community not use them as pawns... and no, Sarah carrying her infant son in public or private does not make him a pawn.
in any event what does the friedman letter prove no matter who wrote it. only one family was being made fun of in the cartoon and that was the palin family. now if the friedman family was made fun of in the same way then i would care what they thought but until then i would rather hear from bristol and what she thought.
So yes, these Palin fans are implying that Andrea can't think for herself, can't speak for herself and is being used by others. They seem to have a pretty low opinion of Andrea don't they? I wonder how they would react if they took the time to look at her accomplishments?
Andrea's Resume from her IMB page
Pre-School: Santa Monica Presbyterian Nursery School, Santa Monica
Elementary: Seeds University Elementary School at UCLA, Los Angeles
Junior High: Fernald School at UCLA
ERAS School, Los Angeles High School:
West Los Angeles Baptist High School, Los Angeles
College: Santa Monica College, Santa Monica
Stagecoach Theatre Group
Kay Howell, Director, Los Angeles, CA
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: Secretary Bye Bye Birdie: Teeny bopper and camera girl Marmalade & Gumdrops
Santa Monica Playhouse
Evelyn Rudie and Chris DeCarlo, Directors Where Do We Go From Here
Happily Ever After
Santa Monica College
C.H. McMurray, Director, Theatre Arts Class Andrea performed scenes from:
'The Miracle Worker'
'Loss of Roses'
English Shakespeare Co., London, England Michael Bogdanov and Michael Pennington, Directors
The Adderly School
Janet Adderly, Director
'The Joint Is Jumpin', a musical revue
'Opening Doors, OCEAN, Orange County Employment Network, May 1993, Guest Speaker.
Self Advocacy Conference, San Diego, CA, May 1993, Keynote Speaker.
Los Angeles County Early Intervention Expo and Faire, Harbor Regional Center, Long Beach, CA, June 1993, Keynote Speaker.
Self-Advocacy Conference for the Developmental Disabilities Board, Area IX,Buellton, California, June 1993, Keynote Speaker.
National Down Syndrome Congress Conference, Anaheim, CA, August 1993, Keynote Speaker.
Canadian Down Syndrome Society Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 1994, Keynote Speaker.
Ventura County Ninth Annual Supported Living Connection Conference: Promoting Quality Lives and Community Connection, Ventura, California, March 1994, Guest Speaker.
National Down Syndrome Congress/Marcus Center Facility Dedication, Atlanta, Georgia, April 1994.
Parent/Family Outreach Conference for the University of San Francisco, East Los Angeles, California, May 1994, Guest Speaker.
San Gabriel Valley Down Syndrome Parents Group, Pasadena, California, July 1994, Guest Speaker.
National Down Syndrome Congress Annual Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 1994, Keynote Speaker, Panel Participant, Workshop Participant.
Vocational and Rehabilitation Research Institute 25th Anniversary Opening Doors Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 1994, Keynote Speaker.
Self-Advocacy Conference of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, Keynote Speaker, September 1994.
Los Angeles Down Syndrome Society Annual Convention, October 1994, Keynote Speaker.
Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 1994, Guest Speaker.
St. Alban's Episcopal Church Youth Group, Los Angeles, California, October 1994, Guest Speaker.
Students of North High School, Newton, Massachusetts, October 1994, Guest Speaker.
CAPC Adult Services Annual Meeting, Buena Park, California, November, 1994, Guest Speaker.
Etta Israel Center, Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, California, December 1994, Panel Discussion.
Students of Campbell Hall School, Studio City, California, January, 1995. Addressed junior high school and senior high school students.
Possibilities Unlimited Inclusion Conference, Dare to Dream, Provo, Utah, March 1995, Keynote Speaker.
South Carolina Down Syndrome Family Conference, Columbia, South Carolina, April 22, 1995, Keynote Speaker.
Supported Living Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 17, 1995, Keynote Speaker.
Century City Rotary Club, Los Angeles, California, June 14, 1995, Guest Speaker.
Denver Down Syndrome Society, Denver, Colorado, July 16, 1995, Guest Speaker.
Inland Valley Down Syndrome Parents Group, Pomona, California, July 20, 1995, Guest Speaker.
Ohr Eliyahu Academy, Culver City, California, December 14, 1995, Guest Speaker.
The Reach Foundation, Los Angeles, California, April 21, 1996, Moderator for Kid's View, KABC Television.
Public Appearance at TASK Festival, Anaheim, California, April 27, 1996
Quality of Life Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 7, 1996, Guest Speaker.
Home and Family, Family Channel, June 1996, Interview for Television.
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools' Teacher Conference, Fontana, California, August 27, 1996, Keynote Speaker.
Speaker at John Langdon Down Foundation's Second International Symposium on Biomedical and Psychoeducational Aspects of Down Syndrome, Mexico City, Mexico, April 1997.
April 16, 1997 The 50th Anniversary of the Television Academy TV Special (Film Clip from 'Life Goes On' of Andrea Friedman and Chris Burke.)
'Touched by Angel', guest star on episode entitled 'An Angel By Any Other Name', initial air date May 10, 1997 on CBS.
Self-Advocacy Conference, Westside Regional Center, Los Angeles, CA, September 1997.
Starring role in a half-hour Christmas drama produced by Hilary Jones-Farrow Productions Ltd. and Merit Motion Pictures, Inc. entitled 'Smudge', filmed in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The film was initially released in the United States on Turner Network Television on November 30, 1997 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Interview for television by Steve Hartman of CBS, Channel 2, Los Angeles, June 6, 1997.
August, 1997: National Down Syndrome Congress President's Award in recognition of Andrea Friedman's achievement in television and film portraying a positive image of people with Down syndrome.
Westside Regional Center Annual Workshop, September 20, 1997, Keynote Speaker.
Iranian Parents Group, Beverly Hills, California, October 1997, Guest Speaker.
November 5, 1997: Guest star on 'Chicago Hope', CBS.
November 7, 1997: Charity premiere of 'Smudge' starring Andrea Friedman, sponsored by The Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles at the Warner Bros. Studio.
November 17, 1997: Guest speaker at MUSKAAN, the Parents Association for the Welfare of Children with Down syndrome, New Delhi, India.
December 2, 1997: Guest speaker for Nehru Centre sponsored by Indus International, the Indian Merchants Chamber and Verve magazine, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India.
December 12, 1997: Guest speaker for Mathru Mandir (The Institute for Down Syndrome), Chennai (formerly Madras), India.
December 12, 1997: Guest speaker for The Spastics Society of India, Chennai, India.
December 13, 1997: Addressed members of the Chennai medical profession on the subject of 'Living with Down Syndrome,' Chennai, India.
December 16, 1997: Speaking engagement at the Down Syndrome Society of Japan in Tokyo, Japan
December 17, 1997: Speaking engagement and celebrity appearance at the I. G. Clinic Christmas party in Tokyo, Japan
May, 1998: Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Children's Television Special, Yorkton Film Festival, Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada
July 9, 1998: Guest speaker at Humanitas Prize ceremony.
July 21, 1998: National Theatre Workshop for the Disabled, Dublin, Maine.
September 26, 1998: Keynote speaker at Westside Regional Center Conference, Los Angeles, California
October 15, 1998: Guest speaker at Up for Downs Conference, Pomona, California.
October 1998: Child Psychology Class, Santa Monica Community College, Santa Monica, California, Guest Speaker.
January 16, 1999: Guest Star on 'Walker, Texas Ranger', 'Special Witness' episode.
February 24, 1999: Guest speaker S.H.A.R.E., Inc., Cedars Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, California.
April 9, 1999: Keynote speaker, Tierra del Sol annual meeting.
April 29, 1999: Honored by the National Down Syndrome Society and the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles at the Annual National Down Syndrome Society Professional Women's Luncheon.
May 20, 1999: Keynote speaker at Canadian Down Syndrome Society Annual Conference.
June 1, 1999: Speaker at meeting of Very Special Arts Conference.
June 12, 1999: Guest celebrity for Harbor Regional Center 'Tell Me A Story' family event.
April 10, 2000: Guest Star on '7th Heaven', 'Hoop Dreams' episode.
April 14, 2000: Speaker, Annual National Down Syndrome Society Professional Women's Luncheon.
April 29, 2000: Keynote speaker, 7th Annual Self-Advocacy Conference sponsored by Self-Advocacy Board of Los Angeles County.
May 1999: Guest Speaker, Tierra del Sol annual dinner, San Fernando Valley, California.
June 11, 2000: Keynote speaker, 5th Annual California Statewide Self-Advocacy Conference sponsored by Supported Life Institute, Sacramento, California.
November 8, 2000: Speech to Yeshiva University High School, Los Angeles, California.
November 13, 2000: Keynote speaker, Far Northern Regional Center, Redding, California.
November 15, 2000: Guest Star, '7th Heaven' 100th episode.
May 19, 2001: Keynote Speaker and Workshop, Fifth Special Education Parent Conference sponsored by Los Angeles Unified School District - Division of Special Education.
June 10, 2001: Keynote Speaker and Workshop, 6th Annual California Statewide Self-Advocacy Conference sponsored by Supported Life Institute, Sacramento, California.
October 3, 2001: Presenter at Media Access Awards Ceremony.
October 26, 2001: Speech to Yeshiva University High School, Los Angeles, California.
November 2001: Performing scene from 'Romeo and Juliet' at Galaxy Ball, a fundraiser for Down Syndrome Association.
April 13, 2002: Keynote speaker at 'Kids With Dreams' conference held at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.
April 21, 2002: Guest Star on 'The Division', 'Illusions' episode, Lifetime Television.
May 10, 2002: Guest Star on 'Law and Order, Special Victims Unit', 'Competence' episode, NBC.
June 2002: Name placed into consideration for nomination for Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series for performance on 'Law and Order, Special Victims Unit', 'Competence' episode.
June 15, 2002: Workshop speaker, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Down Syndrome Association Conference.
July 13, 2002: Guest speaker for Chinese Parents Association for the Disabled, San Gabriel, California.
August 22, 2002: Guest speaker for Up for Downs Parent Group, Pomona, California.
September 21, 2002: Keynote speaker at National Self-Advocacy Association Conference held in Buffalo, New York
March 21, 2003: Keynote speaker for Special Children's League, Whittier, CA
April 3, 2003 - Guest Star on 'ER'.
May 10, 2003: Keynote speaker - People First Conference, San Diego, CA
May 14, 2003: Keynote speaker, Agencies for Developmentally Disabled, Buffalo, New York.
May 2003: Interview by Good Morning, Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.
June 2003: Keynote speaker, Annual California Statewide Self-Advocacy Conference sponsored by Supported Life Institute, Sacramento, CA
July 2003: Keynote Speaker and Workshop Participant, National Down Syndrome Society National Conference, St. Louis, MO
July 2003: Panelist on American Film Market/Lanterman Regional Center, Perspectives Media Forum.
October 5, 2003: Grand Marshall, Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles Up For Down Buddy Walk, Upland, California
November 5, 2003: Keynote Speaker, Lanterman Center Conference on 'Inclusion and Social Acceptance'.
November 2003: Keynote Speaker, Best Buddies Convention,
December 2003: Honored Guest at MERCI, Fundraiser.
February 2004: Guest Star, 'The Division', Lifetime Television.
November 2004: Keynote Speaker, People First of Kern County, Bakersfield, California.
April 2005: Guest Speaker, Students of Cathedral High School, Washington D.C.
August 28, 2005: Guest Star, 'Strong Medicine', 'Broken Heart' episode, Lifetime Television.
August 2006 - Keynote Speaker, Down Syndrome Ninth World Congress, Vancouver, BC, Canada
December, 2006 -- "Up Syndrome" – Television documentary on the life of Andrea Fay Friedman, Narration by: Joanne Woodward
February 26, 2007 – Guest Star, “Rescue Me” Fx Channel
April 19-21, 2007 – Speak to The Prep Program of Calgary, Canada at meeting in Cranmor
April 23-June 18, 2007 – “Critical Thinking Through Improvisation” course at UCLA Extension. Assistant Instructor
October, 2007 – Keynote Speaker; Grand Marshall Sarasota, Florida, Fund Raiser
December, 2007 -- Celebrity appearance: Southern Nevada (Las Vegas) Fund Raiser
May 29-31, 2008 – Oregon Disability Megaconference, Bend, Oregon
August 25, 2008 – Guest Star, “Saving Grace” – TNT Channel
May 2, 2009 - Sprout Film Festival, New York – Amazing Women Featured Speaker
Dates to be announced:
“The Undesirables” (feature)
“Sarah & Mr. Charlie” (movie-of-the-week) “I Run and Feel Rain” (feature)
“Smudge” (mini series)
CONTACT: Harold Friedman
11377 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 624
Los Angeles, California 90064
Telephone:(310) 312-3104 Fax:(310) 231-8304 Email: HHF@MSK.COM
So yes, she is a pretty smart cookie and could run circles around Sarah Palin as far as intelligence goes.
She is also the subject of a documentary being made which tells her story! She is quite an incredible young woman!
A Possible Dream - preview
I would like to give Andrea a HUGE Thank You for standing up for yourself and for others who face challenges but don't let that define them, or hold them back from anything! You are a credit to your parents and to yourself!