Tonight, as I was watching the Emmys to see if a few friends of mine would win, I found myself laughing at Jimmy Kimmel for his food allergy comments,For those who have not seen it let me set the stage.
Jimmy show’s his mom making 7000 peanut butter sandwiches, He then says that the kids from “Stranger Things” will be giving them out to all in the audience. In my head I began thinking ” oh no” The peanut allergy groups are going to go crazy over this. Jimmy then asks if anyone has a gluten allergy to raise their hands, So people can see how annoying they are. Then he says oh and if you have a peanut allergy, well I guess this is the end for you, we could only afford one EPI Pen. Was I offended? NO! did I even laugh yes.
Let’s break this down. Jimmy Kimmel is a comedian, he by nature makes jokes about anything and everything, like short people, race, current politics, etc. This is what comedians do. I mean their is a reason people don’t like to sit in the front row at a comedy club, anyone can become a target and it’s not mean spirited. Next, lets look at the gluten issue. FYI gluten is not an allergen. Yes, some people have celiac. but it’s not the same as a wheat allergy. However, Jimmy is in Hollywood. Gluten Free is more of a fad diet. He was jokingly pointing that out. Finally, the peanut and Epi Pen comments were a direct dig at the Mylan issue in the news.
As expected much of the food allergy world ran to social media up in arms over this. They are calling him all sorts of things and expressing anger at him, the Emmys, and even ABC. On my Facebook group Positive parenting with food allergies most of us see this for what it was A JOKE ! First, the dig at Mylan was hysterical, this also still brings awareness to the issue of food allergies and can even open the door to discussion.
As a food allergy community we have to stop getting up in arms every time someone mentions the word food allergy . People even have gotten offended with movies like “Boxtrolls” or ” cloudy with a chance of meatballs” because they have food allergy jokes in them. We must grow a backbone, and we also must show our kids that this is not a huge deal and this helps people talk about allergies. Food allergies are serious and they are a pain, however ,we should be able to take a joke. The whole world is not about us food allergy people,We need to understand that. Laughter is the best medicine, and I think many of us we could use some of that right now.