Regular followers will remember our wrangling with Universal Studios over a horrible joke about sickle cell disease which was featured in the film TED2.
Last month, we were happy to report that we spoke with studio executives and they listened. Now we’re starting to see progress. The studio have produced and aired educational segments about sickle cell disease to raise awareness of sickle cell.
Professor Simon Dyson, Scientific Adviser to the Sickle Cell Society, who has been a part of the campaign to right the wrongs in TED2 from the very start, said:
“It is good that some key messages have been put across, including that sickle cell can affect any ethnic communities and is not a “black disease”. The pieces also emphasised that with good social support, people with sickle cell disease can achieve great things and that, with proper social support and medical care, people with sickle cell disease can live into their eighties.
“The coverage also notes the challenges, such as the near daily pain that may be experienced and the difficulties that adults with sickle cell disease in the USA face in getting treatment because too few haematologists in the USA take on patients with sickle cell disease.
“It’s a good start, and I would commend NBC for being open to these initiatives, but we really need people to get beyond the basic medical facts about sickle cell disease and see that there are social challenges too, like how to ensure young people with sickle cell get the best education and employment opportunities and are not discriminated against by employers, or by insurance companies in terms of mortgages and travel insurance.”
We hope to see further action on sickle cell in the future.