The episode, called “Quitting Cold Koala,” featured a boy named Stuart who must follow a gluten-free diet. Why he is on the diet is not mentioned. A variety of jokes are made at this boy about his need for gluten-free food, including the main character of the show pointing out that Stuart has a list of dietary requirements which is five-pages long.
At one point in the episode, another child is shown throwing pancakes at Stuart whilst he screams “gluten!” and wipes them away from his face.
Amy Raslevich, who has two children with celiac disease, started an online petition on Change.org asking the Disney Channel to stop using gluten-intolerance as a reason to bully children. The petition was signed by a huge number of people and a thread on Reddit was also started on the issue.
A channel aimed at children should know better than to use a child with allergies or intolerances as a reason to bully him. Bullying is already a big enough problem amongst children. Do we really want the TV shows our kids watch to give them the idea that it’s alright to bully and isolate other children because of a medical condition?
What are your thoughts on this? Are you happy the Disney Channel pulled the episode?
Post authored by The Gluten-Free Traveller