The Internet Chimes In On If Autism Is An Excuse For ‘Predatory Behavior’

Is being on the spectrum a valid excuse for 'predatory behavior'?

Adult male hands using a laptop
Burst / Pexels

Is being on the spectrum a valid excuse for 'predatory behavior'?

Echosmith drummer Graham Sierota recently had his reputation drug through the dirt after Blink 182 rocker Travis Barker learned he had been sending inappropriate private messages to his teenage daughter Alabama on Instagram. Travis quickly blasted the drummer for having “predatory behavior” that disgusted him.

According to a previous report by The Inquisitr, the family of the drummer attempted to do some damage control by releasing a statement explaining that Graham didn’t understand that his interaction with the teenager was inappropriate because of his autism diagnosis.

This quickly created a question of whether autism is a valid excuse for having “predatory behavior.”

Naturally, opinionated-filled social media users were quick to share their thoughts on whether the drummer’s actions should be excused because he is on the spectrum.

Two days ago, one individual took to Twitter after reading a story that grilled Graham for his actions to defend the drummer.

“You do realize that Graham has Autism and lacks the maturity, judgement and mental capacity of a ‘normal’ 20 year old man, right?” The Twitter user penned.

Unsurprisingly, the tweet itself quickly turned into a debate as someone different replied to it saying that autism wasn’t even close to being a “valid excuse.”

The original poster responded to the comment clarifying that they were not excusing the actions, they were just explaining how Graham’s actions differed from someone with malicious intent.

“Just saying that people like him are socially inept, awkward, and their brains are essentially that of a child. It’s not as if the guy was calculated and maliciously set out to do any harm like the R. Kelly types of the world,” the Twitter user continued to explain.

A third Twitter user also replied to the tweet exclaiming that using autism as an excuse for this type of behavior was “disgusting.” This individual justified their ability to comment on this issue by pointing out that they work with autistic children.

The original poster responded to the comments once more to point out the fact that none of the messages between Graham and Alabama were sexual in nature and there was nothing to suggest he was trying to be intimate with the teenager.

No, there’s absolutely no reason to DM a complete stranger; even someone with autism can learn that. Just don’t…

— Cheryl Sauro (@cheri1786) August 1, 2019

In response to People Magazine sharing the story on their official Twitter page, one user noted that while they loved Travis Barker they believed the whole situation was “blown out of proportion.”

Other Twitter users have noted the problem with using his autism as an excuse is Alabama isn’t the only teenager he allegedly sent messages to.

“Other people on Instagram have come forward about him messaging young girls, Alabama wasn’t the only one. Being on the spectrum doesn’t invalidate that he was inappropriate with a kid and that she had told him her age. He’s been contacting her since she was 10! Gross,” on Twitter user insisted.

Oh god. Don't you dare blame his autism for his predatory behavior on underage girls.

— Paul Ryan's Spine (@GopSpineless) August 3, 2019

One Twitter user admitted to feeling as though the drummer was just using his autism as an excuse to be a pedophile. The user also suggested it was convenient that his diagnosis became public knowledge all of a sudden.

Regrettably for those looking for an answer, the internet seems pretty split on whether they believe autism is a valid excuse for predatory actions. In Graham’s case, some also admit to being hesitant to believe he has autism without some sort of proof of his diagnosis.