Disney Channel Pulls Controversial Jessie Episode That Mocked Gluten Intolerance

Disney Pulls Controversial Jessie EpisodeDisney Chanel has pulled a recent installment of Jessie amid controversy surrounding its approach to a recurring character’s gluten intolerance.

“[W]e received your feedback about tonight’s Jessie episode which some of you accessed early on Video-on-Demand,” the kiddie cabler said via a Facebook statement posted Friday. “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. Please accept our apologies for the upset this episode caused you and your family.”

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The episode “Quitting Cold Koala,” which was to premiere last Friday, finds Debby Ryan’s titular nanny tasked with minding Zuri’s frenemy Stuart (played by J.J. Totah), who follows a gluten-free diet. Upon learning the food restrictions that come with his condition, jokes are made, one of which involved pancakes being tossed at Stuart while he screams, “Gluten!”

Disney Channel’s apology was partly in response to a petition posted to Change.org, which stated that Stuart was portrayed as “annoying, sniveling and demanding, repeatedly teased and excluded by the other children.” The complaint asked the cabler to “stop using gluten-intolerance as an excuse to bully children with any disease, disorder or disability.”

This is not Disney Channel’s first brush with controversy. Former Disney princess Demi Lovato called out her former employer in 2011 for making light of eating disorders. “I find it really funny how a company can lose one of their actresses from the pressures of an eating disorder and yet still make joke about that very disease,” Lovato noted at the time, referencing her own very public battle with the disease.

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114 Comments
  1. kate says:

    not that I watch that show, but really? portrayal of gluten intolerance is causing controversy? the wussification of america continues.

    • Midge says:

      Hi, I’m a person with coeliac disease. It’s not just a gastrointestinal disorder in the sense that *eating* products with gluten affects me – I also have to avoid beauty products, etc. that contain gluten because they WILL cause a reaction, and it’s not funny or pleasant or healthy.

      It’s not the portrayal of gluten intolerance, it’s the trivialisation of it. Some people are so allergic to nuts being near them causes an allergic reaction. Would you call that being a wuss? If you wouldn’t, then why is THIS ok?

      • Joe says:

        waaaaaaaah

      • mia says:

        Well said! We shouldn’t be trivializing anyone (or any condition) as it pertains to food.

      • kevin says:

        the difference is someone with a nut allergy might have a sense of humor. allergies and diseases get made fun of all the time – on the big bang theory, it’s a weekly ritual (Howard’s nut allergy, Leonard’s lactose intolerance, Raj’s mutism, even Sheldon’s presence on the spectrum). sorry the gluten-free fad has “trivialized” coeliac disease, but geez, lighten up. not every joke in entertainment has a sinister intolerance behind it. sometimes, it’s really just a joke.

        • rawley says:

          THIS. So much this.

        • Dennis says:

          Yeah but we’re talking making fun of kids, which is NOT okay.

        • MN says:

          The difference is this is a television show aimed towards a younger audience, which takes this information and uses it to guide future behavior. A pre-teen sees a show where it’s okay to make fun of a kid for dietary restrictions and starts making fun of kids in similar situations in school. People with a gluten intolerance have a difficult time adjusting already and often feel like a bother without kids telling them they are a “wuss” or “demanding”. Their food has to be prepared separately and they cannot eat many foods. And before anybody pulls the “parents should teach their kids to behave properly” card, it doesn’t happen. Too many parents sit their kids in front of a TV and hope they’ll learn proper values.

          I usually roll my eyes when programs pull episodes for PC reasons, but kudos to Disney for not spreading the hate.

          • Evan says:

            This is exactly why this younger generation is so damn soft… ppl will complain about any and everything!!! smh

          • JLK says:

            I agree with you completely. When my daughter started preschool awhile back, she was stunned at how hateful some of the other little 3 and 4 year-olds could be. It never occurred to her to be anything but kind to other kids. She kind of became the mother hen in the classroom. Trying to make sure that everyone was happy and comforting the kids who became a target. As I spent some time in the classroom getting to know the other kids and their parents, it seemed like there was a bit of a correlation between the preschool girls who were sporting the Hannah Montana and High School Musical backpacks and those who had more age appropriate ones. They were imitating the behavior of the older kids they admired on TV, and no one except the teachers at school seemed willing to tell them that making fun of other kids for things that they have no control over was not acceptable.

          • Laura says:

            Your wrong. I’m a “pre-teen” and I don’t take it that you should make fun of other kids. You don’t understand how we think. We see pancakes being thrown and that’s what we are laughing at, not the joke itself. I have a friend with diabetes and I don’t laugh at her dietary restrictions. I have a friend who can’t eat gluten and when she comes over we make her special meals. Don’t act like you know what we think because honestly you don’t. Please people don’t tamper with TV because you don’t always know what’s best.

        • heyang says:

          The difference is that on TBBT, the ‘sufferers’ typically initiate the jokes at their own expense. Also, they are close friends ribbing each other, as well as being adult characters. Based upon the description of the episode, the gluten-free character is being bullied – since when is it ok to throw food at someone.

          I’ve caught episodes of Jesse with my nieces and I don’t particularly enjoy how the character is portrayed in general. However, that doesn’t mean that I would be ok with my niece teasing this person IRL.

      • topoopon says:

        I have seasonal allergies. Please, don’t make fun of the pollen averse.

      • Josh says:

        It has nothing to do with the BEING of it, what’s crazy about this story is that people are complaining about it. People have used nut allergy jokes before…That an episode gets pulled because of a harmless joke is very, very scary.

      • Caitlin P says:

        You sound extra wimpy and humorless, Midge. Try laughing once in a while, rather than playing victim.

      • Mantis Toboggan says:

        Midge. Come on. Please. I suffer from ingrown toenails. They cold get infected and the I fiction could spread and kill me. I want to raise awareness of this. Any suggestions?

      • Lila says:

        I think it’s funny… I don’t have it so I don’t care! :-)

      • I’m a person with an allergy to basically everything, nuts, grass, trees, weeds, cats, dogs, dust, mold you name it. As well as that I have a gluten sensitivity and I’m a vegetarian I have to avoid all of these things too, the difference between you and me is that I have a sense of humour and if anyone makes fun of someone who is allergic, gluten free or even a vegetarian I don’t get all butthurt about it.

      • There are a billion wrong statements on tv big deal get over it! I have allergies to so many things -hey take flowers off the air and don’t mow the lawn. No-0ne was trying to hurt anyone. I don’t like all the farting jokes so I have to get over it. Do you people watch a show that is really good JUST to find something to gripe about?

      • AnnaMarie95 says:

        i totally agree. i have crohns disease , type 2 diabetic ..Asthma, so they gonna make fun of that too ? shame on them. heaven forbid if any of them would get deathly sick from something that causes an Allergy and go into an anaphalectic shock ?

    • scorpo says:

      As always, it is about the context. I haven’t seen the episode in question but it doesn’t sound like they were out and out bullying him over the fact that he was gluten intolerant. This is pretty ridiculous. Disney needs to grow a pair.

    • guest says:

      yep, they are wussies. just like peanut allergy, most people pretending to be gluten intolerant aren’t. (paediatric studies have shown that most kiddies “suffering” from peanut allergy are actually suffering from hypochondric parents)

      • Brooke says:

        Paediatric? Ted Mosby, is that you?

      • BabyFirefly says:

        I seriously doubt if you saw your own child unable to breathe with their throat and face swollen, that you would call them a wussie, and refuse to take them to a hospital. You are an ignorant troll,

    • BabyFirefly says:

      The problem isn’t good natured joking, it’s marginalizing a serious disease more and more children are suffering from, but few take seriously. If a child says they are allergic to nuts, people might joke about it but they take it very seriously – after all, a child could die. With celiac it’s more complicated. It’s as if since the disease isn’t immediately life threatening, it’s not “real”. My issue with the show was the portraying the kid as if he were overreacting, and should really just suck it up and eat gluten. They are enforcing the stereotype that people with gluten allergies are just being “difficult”. If you knew how often people have told my niece to just eat around the gluten parts, Or my favorite, “one time won’t kill you”. Just like one cigarette won’t kill you, right? Yes, people with Gluten allergies might be a little sensitive, but I garantee you if you had a child with these allergies the ignorance and annoyance you run into daily would frustrate you.

      • AOS says:

        I agree! And not all gluten free eaters are celiac. I actually have an allergy to wheat–it won’t just cause pain to eat things with gluten, my throat actually swells.

        As for the example of Big Bang Theory, the difference is that Howard is not bullied or pressured into eating nuts. I’ve never seen any of the other characters joke about throwing peanuts at him because they know he can die from it. When has last consumed peanuts, he was in a hospital., where he could receive immediate help.

      • Laura says:

        As a child who watches the show, we don’t take it as seriously. We understand it is an issue but seriously they took off the episode. It’s a joke, lighten up people. Plus to all of those moms out there worrying, shut up. Loosen up the restraints and laugh a little. Don’t be so uptight. Your children aren’t going to think of the disease the way you think they are. They just see pancakes being thrown and that’s what they are laughing at, not the disease.

    • Jeremiah says:

      Disney, please stop making jokes about food diseases/disorders because it is scaring me.

    • Right! I am really sick of all the hassle over everything!

    • Sally Wallace says:

      This was NOT PULLED. It was on this week. Insulting to the poor kids who are gluten intolerant.

  2. Sara says:

    They also had to pull an episode of Hannah Montana that mocked kids with diabetes after that community complained. I wonder how many episodes they will have to pull to learn their lesson.

    • Mantis Toboggan says:

      You shouldn’t make fun of my diabetes.

    • jo says:

      I am a pre-teen and i watched this episode just the other day i watched it with my younger siblings…… disney doesn’t have to learn when to stop, because they haven’t done anything wrong. Me and my younger siblings found nothing wrong with that episode or any other, the only way you people could’ve noticed this “cruel joke” was either hearing it threw the news or if you were purposely looking at disney episode’s trying pick out little things to screw them with… Like a stupid little joke that no kid who watches this will even catch onto it. So all the complainers should just be quiet and go on with their lives and try and do something useful instead of pulling little kids tv shows that they actually happen to like.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Wow the PC police need to freakin relax. This is just getting ridiculous, people need to learn how to take a joke. No wonder why kids nowadays act the way they do.

  4. Mel says:

    Food Allergies and Celiac Disease are serious health conditions and not the butt of jokes. This episode showed that bullying someone for being different and having food issues as funny and acceptable. The number of things these children have to deal with on a daily basis is no joke and is the difference between being healthy or being sick/dead.

    • guest says:

      it would be easier to take people with allergies and CD serious if they weren’t overun by all the fakers who are doing it because it’s in right now to be gluten intollerant.

      • Henry says:

        EXACTLY! YES!

      • BabyFirefly says:

        I can’t complain about that too much, all those “fakers” are the reason I now have a gluten free bakery around, and whole sections of the grocery store dedicated to gluten free. I agree they are annoying, but I’m grateful in general for the gluten free craze, because at least now I have more food options.

    • If you watch the episode its not bullying at all, she throws a pancake at him and he yells “Gluten!”. How about the episodes where they clearly stereotype racially? I don’t see anybody getting all butthurt about that…

  5. Mark says:

    I’ve never heard of this show. But, if these tween/teen shows could stop portraying bullying as some kind of joke in general, that might be better for them as a genre in the long run.

    • jo says:

      If you havent even seen the show then be quiet and watch a few episodes. But while you watch try to just enjoy and not seek out all the problems. Yes it has jokes but…. news flash!!!!!! it is a tween comedy show and every normal viewer shouldn’t be so thin skinned about all this.. Put up! or shut up!!

      • Takeachillpill says:

        “If you havent even seen the show then be quiet and watch a few episodes. But while you watch try to just enjoy and not seek out all the problems. Yes it has jokes but…. news flash!!!!!! it is a tween comedy show and every normal viewer shouldn’t be so thin skinned about all this.. Put up! or shut up!!”
        Then what’s getting you so fumed up? I suggest you calm yourself down or take some anger management classes sweetie. Wow you’re right! It is fun to mock people I know nothing about and marginalize an entire community of thick skinned people defending the right of insensitive jokes at the expense of others!!! Too complicated for you to comprehend? Then may I kindly suggest-put up or shut up and move on!!! And yes I have watched a few episodes and they’re all pretty much vile. I find it funny that only people lucky enough to be ignorant are the majority of the people who never shut up about how awful political correctness is. Well, whatever. You’re never going to understand. This comment is just for others who are fed up with these kind of comments and to let them know that they’re not alone. As for you, I hope that you’ll always remain ignorant and find every little callous joke humorous.

  6. Bender says:

    Disney listened to the public, maybe they’ll listen to the public about future projects such as Marvel or Star Wars. This Jessie show seems like a crap fest like the rest of the garbage they produce.

  7. Seriously? We’ve dropped this low? Entertainment is just finished and over.

    • Len says:

      I’m 57, and me and mine have never thought making fun of anyone for any reason is entertainment. If that’s what you need for entertainment, perhaps you should re-evaluate your needs.

      • Raph. says:

        You must be a blast at parties. Humor is derived from making fun of people, things and situations.
        It shouldn’t be used to make someone feel inferior, no, but when you laugh at a joke, you’re making fun of something.

        • Danny says:

          Remember the show married with children it’s been going on for years it’s for enjoyment get over it people.

  8. CJS says:

    This is honestly one of the stupidest things that I have ever seen people complain about.
    It was just a gulten intolerance joke, not a racist joke.

    • Joseph says:

      It’s only “just” a gluten intolerance joke if you don’t suffer from it. I do. And it’s not that I can’t take a joke…. from what’s described here, it wasn’t a joke at all. They were portraying the kid following the gluten-free diet as whiny. And hey! Bullying is OK, just as long as it isn’t towards some extra protected group! Is tossing pancakes at a kid with gluten intolerance funny? Let me ask you. Is tossing peanuts at a kid with a peanut allergy funny? Or tossing condoms at a gay kid? Bullying is NEVER funny.

      I have a hard enough time when I’m eating out with friends and have to ask a bunch of questions before I can order anything. Or when people want to order pizza and need one more person for delivery, and it can’t be me (“oh, what harm will one slice do?) Well, if I miss something I’m the one that gets the migraine, not them!

      Believe me. I’d LOVE to be able to order a plate of pasta. Or be able to not worry if something is breaded. I used to love that stuff before I found out THAT was the cause of me being sick all the time. Yes, there are alternative breads, pastas, etc. but good luck finding them at a restaurant or a friend’s house. (I have some amazing friends that keep some gluten-free stuff handy just for me, so I don’t feel left out when I come over.

      It’s not about not having a sense of humor on the subject. Sure… make a gluten free jokes. It’s fine. But please, don’t portray us as finicky eaters and annoying people that are just out to give wait-staff a hard time. There is a valid reason we have to ask questions and make other choices. Please don’t make it any harder on us than it already is.

  9. NatesMama says:

    “Stuart was portrayed as “annoying, sniveling and demanding, repeatedly teased and excluded by the other children.” The complaint asked the cabler to “stop using gluten-intolerance as an excuse to bully children with any disease, disorder or disability.””

    Uh…Stuart is *always* portrayed like that. Always. It has zero to do with his gluten allergy, which hasn’t even been discussed before this episode. Nada. Zip. Zilch. The fact that there is a PETITION about this is truly sad. Honestly, this country has become so over-sensitive, we can’t take a single halfway off-comment without losing our minds. And people wonder why there is a rise in teen suicide. It’s because we’re teaching our kids that every perceived slight, every possible insult, every personal comment, is cause to have a complete meltdown. Instead of standing up for themselves, making a rational comment and then moving on, kids are being taught that bullying people into doing your bidding, no matter how ridiculous the slight is, is perfectly acceptable. I don’t fire off a letter every time someone makes an offhand breast cancer joke, because frankly I have better things to do with my time than spend it being offended by every little thing.

    A simple letter to Disney would have sufficed, people. Move on.

    • aeromel78 says:

      Thank you for commenting on that because I was curious about how the character is NORMALLY portrayed. I don’t watch the show, but I had a feeling from the description that he was one of those characters that is obnoxious and annoying, especially to adults. I had a feeling the gluten allergy had nothing to do with how he is portrayed and I’m willing to bet that kids who watch the show regularly had no issue with this episode. I bet not a single kid signed this petition without mommy and daddy forcing them into it.

  10. tulio says:

    OMG, every crappy tv show has a “nerd” character. I don’t think that has to do with the gluten allergy! Also, I laughed when i read the part about the kid running from a pancake yelling “gluten”. That was the point. Not to make people mad. get a life people!!!!!!!

  11. Kate Vatalare says:

    Please there r tons of times that shows make fun of peanut allergies…ever watch Big Bang theory

    • Joseph says:

      Big Bang Theory doesn’t make fun of Howard’s peanut allergy. His friends are actually very careful and considerate on his behalf. They’ve used it as a plot point, like the time Howard had to get Leonard out of the apartment, so they could set up for his surprise party and he does so by faking having eaten something with nuts… then later had to stall due to Sheldon, and had no choice but to actually take a bite. It has fun with his allergy without MAKING FUN of his allergy. No one was holding him down and spooning him peanut butter.

      • mia says:

        A really clear distinction. There’s humour in these topics (my mother has a life threatening shellfish allergy and we make jokes about it; her included) but there’s a difference between it being made humourous and it being the butt of the joke. And it can’t underride the severity/importance of the actual issue.

      • jenna says:

        This. The part that got me about this article was the mention of throwing a pancake in the child’s face. That is neither funny and makes light of gluten sensitivity, which doesn’t exactly help the fact that the majority of the population is uneducated on the topic. Individuals with celiacs can actually harm their bodies by ingesting gluten, the body attacks its own cells instead of the allergen which overtime damages the intestine

  12. Joe says:

    annoying, sniveling and demanding? HOW DARE THEY? We must bully Disney into submission immediately!

  13. Bridget says:

    As some of you seem to be forgetting, this is a show primarily watched by kids, not some NBC or CBS comedy that airs at 9 pm that’s geared towards adults. Kids are very impressionable and when they watch a kid get picked on for a disease that he can’t help, it shows them that it’s okay to pick on kids they know if they have a certain disease. Likewise, it shows kids who may have a Gluten allergy or any other allergy for that matter, that they’re neurotic/annoying/stupid and this can be very embarrassing and cause low self-esteem. Kids- although you all may be too caught up in your mid-life Angry At The World mindset- have too many things they have to deal with and worrying about being picked on over an allergy they can’t prevent doesn’t have to be another one.

  14. mia says:

    Its the comments here that bother me more than the actual Disney episode. Its people who have never had to deal with allergies or live with someone who has severe allergies that make these insensitive comments.
    .
    When you finally know someone who is rushed to the ER because a package was labelled wrong or some moron threw nuts at them and their throat is collapsing, then maybe you’ll have a different view.
    .
    Accomodating for allergies *is* work, but we should WANT to do it. These people are our friends, family, coworkers. Why the heck would we want to risk their lives because we couldn’t be bothered to make some changes.

  15. JakeK says:

    I laughed at the thowing pancakes scene. And I don’t care. [sarcastic gasp!]

  16. Andie says:

    I’m glad they pulled it. I have Celiac disease and have to follow a strict gluten free diet and any small amount makes me sick. The fact that it’s mocked as a fad is actually dangerous to those of us who don’t have a choice because food preparers will often tell me they can accommodate me and then turn around and do stuff like picking croutons out of an already prepared salad so I get sick from the crumbs because they didn’t think it was serious enough to warrant the extra effort. Sorry if I don’t want to be able to not eat out ever or spend the next few days (at least) with major digestive issues every time I do.

    • Ophelia3 says:

      Just wanted to say that the whole croutons in a salad thing happens to me all the time and it is ridiculous no one listens on this issue. I have had to send back more salads than I care to count.

  17. Ophelia3 says:

    I have celiac disease (diagnosed last year, age 25) and it is one of the most difficult things I have dealt with mostly because everyone is SO unbelievably inconsiderate about it. Making jokes about it IS funny a couple of times, but with so many people not understanding this disease it is a mistake to mock it on television. It is not like a peanut allergy. An epipen will not help after exposure. There is no fix except staying away from it and it is extremely difficult to eat anywhere having this disease. More people need to be educated about it. 1 in 133 have it and don’t even know.

  18. TV Gord says:

    Fortunately for me, I don’t have celiac disease or any kind of allergies, but I have compassion for people who do. It can’t be an easy way to live. Those of you who think it’s a “fad” might be under the impression that these problems were only uncovered recently, and therefore, how can they be real problems? The truth is likelier that there have always been these conditions, but those suffering from them have suffered in silence.

    Also, to those who think this is a harmless joke that is okay to belittle for an audience of children, maybe you could make a list of the conditions and diseases that are okay to poke fun at. Is cancer funny, too? Parkinson’s? Alzheimer’s? Maybe something your parents or children or other loved ones suffer from?

    What a cold, uncaring society we’ve become.

    • Tee says:

      Some people regard it as a “fad” because there is a contingent of people with no intolerance that think it’s a cool diet. I spend a lot of time at farmer’s markets in the summer, health food stores year round, and there are some people (fortunately a minority) that look at someone that eats gluten like they just revealed they eat puppies. I don’t think that makes it “okay” to mock legitimate sufferers, just saying, there are some moronic “omg I totally ‘do’ gluten-free, doesn’t everyone?” people out there too.
      My mom was recently diagnosed with a dairy allergy and I definitely feel for people with food allergies. Constantly wondering when you eat out how it was prepared, what did they sneak into it, not being able to eat the same things as family/friends, etc.

  19. Asashii Fustazi says:

    so NO one laughed out loud when macaulay culkin died from a bee sting in my girl, wow i am the only one huh!!!!

  20. BGD says:

    Interesting.

    People here had a hissy fit when CBS pulled a show over a killer tornado that killed 24 including several children.

    But a lot more people go “great!” and support pulling an episode of a show over gluten. Let’s use common sense people.

  21. Bob says:

    Sorry, some of you, but the “good old days” are long gone. Picking on someone because of a medical condition is bullying, plain and simple. Words DO kill, as we’ve all seen from the increase in teen suicides from bullying/cyber-bullying.

    • John says:

      “because of a medical condition” But that isn’t the case with this episode from my understanding: he’s a rather obnoxious “frenemy” of the Zuri character, so he’s getting reacted to for his obnoxious behavior, not his allergy.

      • April says:

        This. I didn’t see this particular episode, but Jesse is one of the more tolerable shows that my daughter watches. The “fact” that Stuart is allergic to gluten has never been a plot point. I’m guessing that if they overdubbed “Aughhh!!” where he says “Gluten!” there would be no connection to him ever being allergic to gluten in the entire episode. Some writer probably just thought it was funny.
        PS: Other moms and my daughter’s teacher say she is “nice to everyone” and one of her best friends has gluten allergies, so I think she is turning out to be a good kid even with the amount of Shake it up/Jessie/Ant Farm/Austin & Ally/Good Luck Charlie/Dog with a Blog she watches :)

      • Harmony says:

        This! He was introduced earlier in the season as an annoying; that’s his defining character trait, not a food allergy. XD

  22. Mantis Toboggan says:

    I think the real issue is that Disney is hiring writers that think they should be writing for adult audiences.

  23. Davey Elmer says:

    It doesn’t matter if it’s a ‘fad’ for some people to live a gluten-free diet; it doesn’t make it okay to openly mock a legitimate condition/disease., which is what this episode would’ve done.

    There’s a difference between treating a serious subject with humor and treating said subject with derision, and, based on the description as provided in this article, what was done in this show fits the latter category, not the former, and it saddens me that it took viewer complaints for somebody at Disney to realize that and make the entirely appropriate decision not to air the episode.

    To the posters who recounted issues they’ve encountered with regards to restaurants not being accommodating, my girlfriend of 6 years – whom I love with all of my heart – has Celiac disease and so I’ve also experienced the same thing, to the point that I will never again eat at Applebees after we got the runaround from them on this issue.

    • Geri says:

      Well, if you’re eating at Applebees, then you and your girlfriend have bigger problems than Celiac disease.

      Honest to God, people – it’s a silly joke on a dumb TV show. Lighten up.

      • Eric says:

        That’s the thing, Geri (and others) – it’s really *NOT* just “a silly joke on a dumb TV show.” It’s a real medical condition, and the episode told the audience (small children, remember – impressionable sorts, last I heard) that it was okay to bully those who are different because of something they can’t help and which is a royal pain for those people to deal with themselves.

        My wife was out of work for a freaking *YEAR*, flat on her back for most of it, for a mystery malady that arose at age 39. Blinding migraines, chills, inability to keep food down – she lost sixty pounds, because she couldn’t eat. On her third hospital admission, the attending physician took me out of the room and to my face openly accused her of drug-seeking, trying to illicitly get the painkillers which were the only things that could dull her migraines (which she never got prescribed enough of to deal with her symptoms and had to fight for every prescription renewal and hated having to take them because they didn’t END the pain and left her fuzzy and stupid and unable to do anything), because he had no idea what was wrong with her and had no inclination to try and figure out who to refer her to. It took everything I had to keep from reaching for the man’s throat when he said that. They sent her home yet again, no better, a couple of days later; later visits to migraine specialists at Johns Hopkins were similarly useless. During one of her lucid periods, she was able to do some research and found an avenue to pursue – the allergist confirmed multiple food allergies, the two worst being wheat (strong) and egg (off the charts). Eliminating those foods from her diet produced a quick return to regular function – no migraines, no chills, and she wasn’t throwing up what she ate. Several years later, she’s working at a better job than the one she lost, and working around her dietary restrictions at restaurants and home. NO ONE wishes she could just be able to order Chinese or a pizza more than she does, but if she eats something with wheat, even just a little bit, even if it TOUCHED a safe food and was removed, she gets nauseous for several hours. If she eats egg, even a little bit, even if it’s washed off the safe item, she throws up and is sick for a day. I can’t even cook eggs for myself or the kids, using my own separate pan and cleaning supplies, because the smell of it alone is enough to make her ill (remember, scent is based on particles in the air, so she’d be breathing in tiny egg particles). This is her life now, and by extension her children’s lives, and mine, as well. A silly joke? Don’t we all WISH! No, she secretly loves not being able to eat regular food that tastes better than most gluten-free stuff, half of which she can’t eat because of her other allergies anyways, and which costs far less (take a look at the price per unit of GF items compared to regular – GF Bisquick is THREE TIMES the cost, most GF bread is in the same range and could easily be used as residential building material rather than food), and being a “problem child”, her words not mine, at every restaurant we can still go to and order anything for her in reasonable safety [/sarcasm]. It might not be a problem YOU have, but it IS a real problem. And the fact that there are those out there who go gluten-free as a fad diet does nothing to minimize that very real problem for those who have to go GF as a way of life.

        Showing kids that it’s okay to treat stuff like this as “a silly joke,” that it’s okay to engage in bullying based on it – that’s *NOT OKAY*. Do that, and you lose any legitimate right to complain that the next generation can’t be bothered to behave civilly – because you encouraged them, you TAUGHT them not to.

        • Davey Elmer says:

          Well said, my friend; well said.

          Geri, take the words ‘gluten intolerance’ and replace them with any one of the following – terminal cancer; Diabetes; Bipolar Disorder; Depression; Schizophrenia; ADHD; Autism; Down Syndrome; Dyslexia – and imagine the same scenario as described in the article playing itself out. Would you still consider the scenario to be a “silly joke on a dumb TV show”?

          Celiac Disease is a life and lifestyle-altering condition and is not something to be mocked in the fashion that the episode in question did.

  24. BurntWater says:

    Let me see if I get this straight… people are offended by the show’s “gluten intolerance intolerance” but they have no problem with the mind-numbingly offensive stereotype that is Ravi? Really?!?

  25. Paul says:

    “Stuart was portrayed as “annoying, sniveling and demanding, repeatedly teased and excluded by the other children.””

    In my experience, this is fairly accurate.

  26. Disappointed says:

    I understand that the GF community is upset about this, but what about.. the fat girl who gets bullied/made fun on every show? Or the highly racist stereotypical characters? Also, let’s face it, gluten free/celiac became a huge trend once Elizabeth Hasslebeck popped up on tv spouting about it and published a book.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      Living Gluten-Free and having Celiac Disease are not one and the same. Celiac Disease is a legitimate, life and lifestyle-altering condition. Elizabeth Hassleback going on national television and touting the health benefits of living gluten-free is in no way akin to a person having to live that way due to Celiac Disease.

      • Disappointed says:

        Yes, but it led to a barrage of people self-diagnosing themselves with celiac. Also she says in her book she is celiac.

  27. ati2ude says:

    While I emphasize with those with celiac disease and food allergies, I feel that this is all a matter of perspective. I had a family member who spent the last years of their life paralyzed from the neck down. This person passed away at the age of 29. If you ask anyone in my family if they could have that person back and the ONLY thing that was wrong was that they could not process gluten, they would reply “YES!!!” It’s all a matter of perspective. In this age of helicopter parents, every ailment/allergy becomes a crusade. Everyone has their issues – yours is not the only one OR they only way.

  28. Harmony says:

    Just wanna say that I watched this episode and I see no reason to pull it. Stuart was introduced in earlier episodes as a typical tv annoying kid-he doesn’t seem any different from any other little kid introduced as annoying on tv shows over the past several decades. His gluten intolerance was only mentioned on two occasions-once in the kitchen during breakfast and later in the park when he drinks gluten free sparkling cider. I don’t think that little kids would pick up on that; if anything is provolcivity for wearing bow ties and sweater vests were referenced far more and thus would be the thing that kids picked up on. He even saves the day by sewing back together Luke’s stuffed bear Kenny the Koala after an unfortunate accident.

  29. Harmony says:

    Oh and he was excluded by Zuri, not the older children who are out of his age range, because he’s obsessed with her and wouldn’t give her any space. And even that was discussed at the end when he agreed to give her some space and she agreed to have a picnic in the park with him.

  30. Jocelyn says:

    Thank you Laura. I’m also a pre teen and appreciate your comment about what we’re laughing at. She really is right!

  31. Lila says:

    I think it’s funny… I don’t have it so I don’t care! :-)

    • Takeachillpill says:

      Thank you for your honesty. :) I think more people agree with your train of thought than they are willing to admit.

  32. Lila says:

    And plus they make fun of people who’s fat. Good luck Charlie, Jessie.

  33. Jay says:

    Sooooo……basically the episode was pulled because parents are too lazy to talk to their kids about why it’s not okay to do in real life what they see on TV.

  34. Ali says:

    I too have celiac disease so I know how inconvenient it is, always having to order things special, not being able to eat what everyone else is eating, having to bring your own food to parties, being super careful about cross contamination (i.e. using separate knives, pans, toasters, etc.) and more. I was diagnosed a few years ago, as an adult, and I at least I am grateful for that because as an adult I have the perspective to be able to deal with all that comes with it and being different.

    For kids, though, it’s another story when fitting in means everything. It makes me sad to think if any kids with celiac, gluten intolerance, or any food allergy having to watch this episode and feel badly about themselves. And that’s the difference. This show is made for kids, not adults. Sure it was meant to be done in a humorous way, but it was not appropriate for a children’s show. Many children probably have not heard of gluten before, and this is the first impression that they got of it. And it is associated with a negative, unlikable character. And I’m sure that that’s what that comment means about him being “annoying”, not that he is annoying because of his gluten intolerance but that they decided to bring up gluten intolerance/celiac, a topic that is almost never discussed on any tv show let alone children’s shows, by giving it to an unlikable character and only presenting it in a “humorous” way, which sounds like it could have been bordering on bullying or at the least making fun of. How about Disney bringing up celiac/food allergies in a positive way by discussing it in a realistic way and giving children with any kind of food allergy a positive role model to identify with?

  35. valentina william says:

    It is an amezing show and it funny.

  36. fernnose says:

    really people, JESSIE is one of my fav shows. its totes funny and innocent. it was a joke. they were not pointing and laughing, or calling people names who have food allergies. to the peeps who got their feelings hurt or is just too serlious to watch a sitcom, ever find anything funny that someone else didnt? think peeps it is a comedy on disney.

  37. Skittles101 says:

    Honestly this really dosent surprise me beacause in Jessie the kids always make fun of each other or bully each other i mean I like Jessie But I don’t like when they be mean to every body.

  38. Skittles101 says:

    The people who made up the joke are idiots

  39. Tatiana says:

    I seen this episode and all she did was throw it that’s not being a bully that’s being a jerk. Now if she held the kid down and force him to eat it now that’s is bullying. Honestly now if the kid got an reaction from it yeah that cause for concern but he didn’t. I suffer from a food allergy from shrimp if I eat it I swell up but if I touch it I’m fine but I can see why people will flip out about this but unless the kid was physically harm or some what mentally scared there’s no concern I know we shouldn’t make fun of kids with food allergies but if the kid isn’t physically harm or mentally harm there’s really no problem but to be honest a lot of the disney shows are mean this show the kids are jerks to each others and talk back to the adults so the show in general is a bad influence.

  40. april says:

    People get a life, it is just a TV show, plus there are several correctors on the show who get made fun off, Yes it is bad to treat people like that and to bully but it a happening out in the real world, kids get made fun of all the time, for stupid thing and it happens on several TV shows, it seams to me that you all need to get a life. it is a TV show and if you don’t want your kids watching something like this then MAKE THEM GO OUT SIDE AND PLAY. INSTEAD OF SITTING IN THE HOUSE WATCHING TV. as fair as I see there is a lot of bad parenting. it is not Disney’s fault they are portraying what is really happening out in the real world.

  41. Danny says:

    I bet the kids of the parents who started this petition now get made fun of more then ever now that ever knows their issues.Since when did Tv start teaching our kids instead of the parents?I am mean seriously it was all fun it’s just enjoyment for TV if your a smart parent you would be watching with your kids and either change the channel if you don’t like it or explain to your kids it’s just a joke for TV we don’t really treat people that way.I grew up not able to drink milk or some dairy products but I never stomped my feet and went crying writing up petitions to get it removed from TV.What do you thinks the kids are going to do your children knowing they are gluten free now that you told the whole world about it?I am seriously what’s next no jokes about candy because it make kids fat give me a break get over it people it’s a TV show for your enjoyment.This gluten free crap is nothing more then that crap people train their kids to be that its nothing over protective parents .The women who start this has two children both having the same issues why because she trained them to be that way.

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