After being targeted by disability groups the comic who frequently made use of the word “retard” and mocked people who have intellectual disabilities in an Showtime special has been removed from the material.
Gary Owen met with four self-advocates last week on the streets of Washington, D.C. after accepting to pull a portion of the 2015 Showtime special titled “Gary Owen: I Agree With Myself,” which is still available on Demand.
In the program’s 75-minute duration, Owen discussed his “retarded” cousin Tina and also discussed her being diagnosed with an infection that is transmitted sexually.
“I didn’t know retarded people had sex,” Owen spoke to his audience during a stand-up show while contemplating what sex might be for her and an individual with intellectual disabilities.
During the performance, Owen also took jabs at Special Olympics athletes and defended his remarks to the audience by saying, “it’s cool, it’s my cousin.”
Special Olympics, The Arc and other disability advocacy organizations joined forces this spring to demand Showtime to remove the show they described as “verbal violence.”
The group’s efforts culminated in a meeting with Owen as well as self-advocates Julie Petty, Loretta Claiborne, Ricardo Thornton and Frank Stephens.
“The meeting was educational, positive and productive,” the group stated in a statement they released following their time with Owen. “The outcomes of the meeting were important. “Mr. Owen made positive commitments concerning the use of the “r-word in his routine of comedy.”
Alongside the removal of that controversial clip from his show The representative for Owen’s comedy group said that Owen will not use his trademark “r-word” in the future.
“The inclusion of my cousin in my routine was never meant to hurt anyone,” Owen declared in a statement made to Disability Scoop. “Out of sensitivity to and respect for the community that was upset, I removed the related segment of my Showtime special.”
A spokeswoman from the cable network told us that they were “pleased to support Gary Owen’s decision to edit his Showtime comedy special” and also that the revised version is now available.