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Autism charity apologizes for Adam Jasinski's 'Big Brother' comment


By Christopher Rocchio, 02/20/2008 

Since Adam Jasinski is currently cooped up in the Big Brother: 'Til Death Do You Part house, someone else has had to apologize for the ninth-season houseguest's use of the word "retards" in reference to people with autism.

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"Unfortunately, Adam Jasinski made some comments, which are not acceptable and we deeply apologize to all those who are affected by this under estimated disorder," reads a statement posted on the United Autism Foundation's website.

While Jasinski has claimed during Big Brother ninth-season episode broadcasts that he does "PR work" for the Florida-based foundation, the website statement does not provide any details about Jasiniski's relationship with United Autism. 

As recently as Monday the United Autism Foundation's website contained numerous photos of Jasinski, all of which have since been removed.

"The United Autism Foundation does not agree with any and all inappropriate comments made by Adam Jasinski about children and adults, which have been diagnosed with autism," reads the statement.  "UNIAF is trying to create awareness and help all those who have been diagnosed with autism. UNIAF does not agree with any personal comments made by Adam Jasinski. Again, we deeply apologize to the Autism Community and the country for the confusion and anger created by those comments."

Jasinski made the offending comment during a conversation that aired on last Wednesday night's pre-taped Big Brother broadcast.

"I do PR work for an autism foundation," Jasinski told his perfect-math partner Sheila Kennedy and several other houseguests.  "I want to do a hair salon for kids with special needs so retards can get it together and get their hair done."

"Don't call them that!" scolded Kennedy.

"Disabled kids. I can call them whatever I want!" Jasinski fired back.  "I work with them all day, okay?"

"I do have friends and family that are affected by children with disabilities," subsequently said Kennedy in the Diary Room.  "The comment that Adam made was absolutely heart wrenching."

On Monday, Autism United executive director John Gilmore had demanded an apology from CBS over Jasinski's remarks and also asked the long-running reality series be canceled.  While requesting the show's cancelation was a long shot, Autism United didn't even receive the apology it sought.

"We certainly find the statements made by Adam to be offensive, but believe they were countered by the immediate reaction of shock and condemnation from a fellow houseguest, Sheila," CBS said in a Monday statement, according to The Associated Press. "Adam's remarks would not have been permitted to air unchallenged."

Jasinski also stuck his foot in his mouth when he was initially partnered with Kennedy -- calling the 45-year-old "ma" -- a moniker she also angrily challenged.

"He says bonehead stuff all the time," commented a man who answered the phone at Jasinski's  parents' home in Cherry Hill, NJ, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday. "He doesn't mean to hurt people's feelings."

"[Jasinski's comments were] irresponsible, misleading and unprofessional," United Autism Foundation president Olaf Hampel told the Daily News in an email message.



(Photo credit CBS)


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