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06/19/2009 08:16 AM ID: 79227 Permalink   

PhD Student Sues Academics for Calling His 'Laughing at the Disabled' Thesis Amoral Trash


Australia: PhD student Michael Noonan has launched a $250,000 lawsuit against two academics from the film and television school at Queensland University of Technology over comments they made over part of his thesis in a newspaper article.

The University staff described the TV comedy 'Laughing at the Disabled: Creating Comedy that Confronts, Offends and Entertains', which formed part of Noonan's thesis, as exploitative and called it 'amoral trash'.

Noonan argues that their remarks caused him embarrassment and distress by implying that he is 'repugnant', 'ignorant', and 'unethical'. He was a third of the way through his PhD at the time of the incident.

    WebReporter: ixuzus Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  Well, I for one,  
am glad we live in a world we can expect to be paid for being retards.

  by: Dayron   06/19/2009 08:36 AM     
Here here.

In fact, to celebrate the fact that we can get paid for being stupid, I think I might go find a hole, fall down it then sue whoever dug it :-)
  by: Maxx20     06/19/2009 09:35 AM     
I was thinking I might try something a little off-color for me. Maybe go to a rally where a controversial topic is being protested. And then, you know, get offended and sue someone there. The folks with deep pockets are always down at the protest, man. I tell you.
  by: Dayron   06/19/2009 09:48 AM     
Australia's libel laws are a joke! He will probably win. the only good that cold come out of it is that the public outrage will force the politicians to change the law in Qld at least. Unfortunately too many politicians use libel laws to keep the media at bay.
  by: jendres     06/19/2009 01:40 PM     
Sounds to me like Michael Noonan IS Amoral Trash.
  by: Lurker     06/19/2009 03:33 PM     
Before everyone gets holier than thou because of the whole 'everyone sues for everything' meme (which is getting seriously old btw... I read somewhere it can be traced to chain snail-mail letters in the 80s or something like that)... let me just say...

there is nowhere near enough information in the source article to judge if he has a valid complaint or not.
  by: bane39   06/19/2009 04:58 PM     
You're right, I'll try and dig up some more on the story for you. That being said, if you put intellectually disabled people in a TV show with a view to having them made fun of, which is what I understand to have happened, the court may well be prepared to accept a truth defense from defendants who called your show 'amoral trash'. Having the court issue a legal ruling that the show really is amoral trash would be a marvelous outcome.
  by: ixuzus     06/19/2009 05:36 PM     
  why would this be amoral?  
suing for libel aside. I find it kind of strange that people have such a strong negative reaction to making fun of disabled people. Without seeing it, it doesn't necessarily sound like my kind of comedy, but I also can't work up much outrage about it, never mind enough to condemn it as 'amoral'. It seems to me that internet denizens play a little too fast and loose with morality these days.

On the other side of this. Am I the only one who finds 'academics' publicly condemning students in newspaper articles rather unprofessional if not bordering on unethical? I seem to remember that during that case where members of a school lacrosse team were accused of rape there were many 'academics' at that school vocally condemning them as well. Don't people have better things to do than getting outraged over everything?
  by: bane39   06/19/2009 07:03 PM     
wow its said how hes suing them because he felt embarrased he should be thats not a reason to sue.
  by: jmac23   06/19/2009 07:46 PM     
  So lemme guess ...  
he failed the course and this is his big excuse ...
  by: AccessG     06/19/2009 08:46 PM     
  Aww hell...  
...There goes my idea for "Tard TV". I guess the fact that we aren't supposed to laugh at the mentally hilarious is why people take FOX News seriously?
I'd give this guy an A+ for his thesis. I want to read it now.
  by: captainchainsaw   06/19/2009 09:59 PM     
  Four Words  
Piled Higher and Deeper
  by: luxfestinus     06/20/2009 04:42 AM     
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