We all know the media is the world's largest tool of manipulation. TV, newspapers and magazines are an enormous presence in our lives and so have a huge influence on society. This is why programmes like Big Brother have an enormous responsibility to ensure what they transmit is giving an appropriate message; hence the huge uproar that was caused in 2007 when Jade Goody made a racist comment on the show.
So when I watched last night's CBB and saw Charlotte talk about Abz' inability to interact with the house in a way which summed up Aspergers so well yet it was put in a negative way, I was quite annoyed. I understand that the housemates aren't aware that Abz has Aspergers, but surely Big Brother should have pointed that out on the show before portraying him as an odd, antisocial person. Abz bravely revealed his condition in the diary room near the start of the show,but apart from that it has not been mentioned. Understandably Abz does not want to be treated differently, but I think producers could have shown the clip of his revelation to remind viewers of his condition and help them understand his behaviour.
For Abz to put himself in that situation takes so much courage yet that hasn't been portrayed. Meanwhile, Lauren, whose issues have been more widely publicised and are more well known, has been made out to be an icon for those in a similar situation. She's the second favourite to win and the housemates think she is great for putting herself out there. For me it just highlights how those on the Autism Spectrum are so easily overlooked because their difficulties are invisible. Lauren and Abz could both be classed as 'odd', but people excuse Lauren's behaviours because of her being transgender; yet Abz is just classed as odd and antisocial and no one tries to understand why that is.
Abz being in the house is an excellent opportunity for people to get some understanding of those on the spectrum, but instead Abz has been portrayed as being weird. Last night Big Brother showed him watching a spider and then followed with Charlotte's rant about how he won't engage with other people. She described him as being in a bubble that people can't get through. Charlotte is extremely perceptive and couldn't have described his condition better, but she said he shouldn't have been in the house because he wasn't making the most of the experience. What Charlotte doesn't realise is that Abs has probably had more of an experience than any of the rest of them and in my opinion deserves to win...