The Disney Channel has decided to pull an episode of Jessie after fans and parents were upset about gluten-free diet jokes that were made during the show. Viewers were able to access the episode before it aired on TV through Video-on-Demand and they obviously weren’t too fond of the gluten-intolerance humor.
The Walt Disney Company released a statement in response to the backlash, noting that the specific episode, which was called “Quitting Cold Koala,” will not air during it’s regular programming.
“To our viewers, we received your feedback about tonight’s “Jessie” episode…We are removing this particular episode from our regular programming schedule and will re-evaluate its references to gluten restrictions in the character’s diet,” the company said about the episode. “Please accept our apologies for the upset this episode caused you and your family.”
In the specific Jessie installment on the Disney Channel, the character Stuart needs a gluten-free diet, and he takes a lot of heat for his food allergies from other characters as they sit around the dinner table.
Amy Raslevich, one of many mother’s who’s seen the episode already, was very upset and even went on to start a petition on Change.org.
“(Disney) characters made it okay to characterize a real illness as an annoyance that is justification for the ‘cool kids’ to make fun of the ‘others,'” Raslevich wrote in her petition against the show. “This isn’t acceptable for anyone. It is the definition of bullying.”
She also wrote about her two children, whom both have Celiac Disease, which requires a strict non-gluten diet. Raslevich went on to explain that the episode was “very upsetting” for both of her kids.
The petition must of worked, as the Disney Channel won’t be airing the episode during it’s regular time-slot and instead will review the insensitive jokes, though it’s unknown if anything more will come of it.
Here’s video of a few of the gluten-free jokes from the Disney Channel’s show.
[Image via Mingle Media TV]