Emmerdale Scene about Hemiplegia — Scope | Disability forum
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Emmerdale Scene about Hemiplegia

I'm so saddened by a scene on last Thursday's episode of Emmerdale. It worries me that people watching who may not know a great deal about Hemiplegia might now stereotype and think that sufferers have are "all cocked" and act like a drunk person. A prime time popular television soap doing this is so harmful and unhelpful. It raises awareness in completely the wrong way


  • Alex
    Alex Scope Posts: 1,307 Pioneering
    Hi @RachaelElizabeth

    Here's the text on your image, just to make it easier for people to read:
    Emmerdale I am saddened by a scene on Thursday's episode in which two of your characters talk about Hemiplegia. "You can't go around like that, all Cocked! You look like you've got that, what is it? Himi, Hemi" "Hemiplegia". 
    Now I am all for raising awareness about Disabilities but in a positive way and this certainly is not! 
    My 14 month old son happens to have Hemiplegia and it is no laughing matter, he has very little use of his right hand side. But I can assure you that he doesn't look "all cocked". 
    I'm shocked that you think comparing a drunk to somebody who has Cerebral Palsy is acceptable. It is not! And your scenes have upset a great deal of people on Hemiplegia support groups. Not cool. I'm so saddened by a scene on last Thursday's episode of Emmerdale. It worries me that people watching who may not know a great deal about Hemiplegia might now stereotype and think that sufferers have are "all cocked" and act like a drunk person. A prime time popular television soap doing this is so harmful and unhelpful. It raises awareness in completely the wrong way
    It looks like plenty of people on the Emmerdale Facebook page agree.

    I find it quite bizarre. I don't think I've ever heard Hemiplegia mentioned on TV (other than the paralympics!) so to hear it in such a negative way is quite upsetting. 

    We frequently hear stories of people who have been falsely accused of being drunk because of things like Hemiplegia and Dyspraxia, but I've never heard it the other way around!
  • RachaelElizabeth
    RachaelElizabeth Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2016
    Thank you Alex, very helpful of you
  • Chloe_Tear
    Chloe_Tear Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    Yes we want disability awareness, yes we want knowledge about hemiplegia/ cerebral palsy- but not like this! To have the mention be so negative seems to be extremely unfair and this is only increased by the lack of awareness for hemiplegia in the first place. As a teenager it is a shock that something- like Emmerdale (which is seen as a massive influence) could be allowed to make such a reference. I myself have been accused of being drunk due to the way I walk, and this is not a pleasant experience, so why reinforce such a negative image? Positive, accurate awareness is all we want
  • Aimeeellen
    Aimeeellen Member Posts: 1
    I don't watch Emmerdale, but was disappointed to hear about this today. I have left sided hemiplegia (stroke pre birth) and am also an occupational therapy student. I have grown up with low confidence, mainly due to how aware I am that my body is noticeably different due to my hemiplegia, and for a well known TV programme to compare having hemiplegia to being drunk is disgusting. Second to this, I have recently worked at a camp for children with hemiplegia as part of my OT course, and 7 out of 8 children said they felt different and insecure about their hemiplegia. These children were 8 years old. We are in 2016- disabilities should be promoted in a positive way, the complete opposite to how Emmerdale has done this. It seems like they have made no effort to find out what hemiplegia actually is, and what the common presentations are like- never have I seen someone with hemiplegia look like they're drunk, or have a head tilt caused by the hemiplegia. Yes we may walk differently, and trip more often, and have our hands in a different position, but if you actually spoken to us about our Hemiplegia (or CP general) it would be obvious that we weren't drunk.
     I fear that if TV programmes are going to view disabilities like this, it will affect future generations of people with disabilities and maintain the low self esteems and lack of confidence so many people have when they have disabilities. I know if I was a few years younger and saw a programme display a disability I have like this, I would have been gutted and embarrassed - even with a supportive family. 
  • charlottec_94
    charlottec_94 Member Posts: 1
    Hemiplegia is a condition that rarely gets any media attention or awareness hence many people don't know exactly what it is or in some cases that it exists, even though it is a form of cerebral palsy. As I'm somebody who has had to deal with it from being a baby, now as an adult with enough knowledge of Hemiplegia I often try to spread recognition either in my job as a teaching assistant or outside of work so that people have more of an understanding of the condition and how it can affect an individual.
    Therefore I thought that a new storyline about Hemiplegia in Emmerdale, a highly popular TV soap would be an excellent platform to spread awareness to the viewing public of the condition. Especially as the soap usually portray real life issues very well and sensitively after doing extensive research... 

    However this clip from an episode aired last week sees a character compare somebody with Hemiplegia to a drunk person adding "you cant go around like that, all cocked! You look like you've got that, what is it? Himi, Hemi... Hemiplegia." 
    I get that Emmerdale obviously weren't intending on offending anybody, and instead were trying to shed light on the issue but for many this episode just increases the stigma attached to Hemiplegia and disability. I don't believe anyone with the condition would refer to themselves as being at all 'cocked' and parents with babies or children with Hemiplegia wouldn't say that either. 
    Personally for me it's just a negative representation that is not helpful whatsoever for spreading awareness or making disability any less of a taboo subject that unfortunately it still seems to be today.  Although the storyline is new I feel that the script- writers and researchers could've done so much better. It doesn't seem as though they have tried to capture real life experiences or carried out enough fact finding beforehand. I hope Emmerdale realise their mistake and try to reevaluate their approach for the rest of the storyline. 
  • rachelcl
    rachelcl Member Posts: 31 Connected
    edited August 2016
    I don't watch Emmerdale, but as a teetotal person with right-sided hemi, I am saddened to hear about this. Things like this - and rhetoric from politicians - breed ignorance in people. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.


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