Pages

Friday, 3 May 2013

Betty White's "Off Their Rockers" TV Show Is 'Demeaning to Older People'

Barbara Morris , R.Ph.

While everyone loves Betty White , not everybody loves her TV show, "Off Their Rockers" according to octogenarian anti-aging expert Barbara Morris , editor, and publisher of the online Put Old on Hold Journal and e-Magazine.

Morris, author of Put Old on Hold, a book acclaimed by Florence Henderson and other celebrities for its non-traditional approach to aging, says that while she admires Betty White 's energy and creative ability, the premise of "Off Their Rockers" is so distasteful that Morris doesn't understand why Betty can't see that she is not doing old people a favor with the show's premise of seniors pulling pranks on unsuspecting folks. The "unsuspecting folks" are usually embarrassed young people. "The whole idea is embarrassing to a lot of us older folks, too," says Barbara Morris .

"Why did Betty decide to do this show?" asks Ms. Morris. "Is it because she is so confident and so vibrant that she can't understand that most of her audience doesn't grasp that she is trying to spoof the pathetic stereotype of "old" and see it as confirming it instead? Maybe she is so focused on getting a laugh that she doesn't see the damage she's doing."

"Regardless of her reason to create this misguided show and no matter how good her reason, it's still damaging to all of us who ever get old enough to fall prey to the 'old people eventually lose it' stereotype," asserts Morris. "She is undoing the very thing that we love her for--being vibrant and funny and "with it" in her 90's."

Morris continued, "We appreciate and applaud Betty White . But she needs to give us respect in return. Participating in a show that's demeaning to older people is simply not the right thing to do. In so many ways Betty could use her talent, energy, and experience to choose projects that more accurately reflect the caliber, talent and continued competence of old people." In the meantime, says Morris, "It's time to retire "Off Their Rockers." It never belonged on the air in the first place."

Do you have a story to tell? Contact 'Let's Hear You!' and let us know! news@letshearyou.com