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Family Ties Riff Rankled 

Letter to the editor.

The "In Their Own Words" quips about the personal lives of the actors in the show Family Ties failed in its attempts at humor. It crossed the lines into the insipid and insulting.

Meredith Baxter - Birney: "prefers girls. What an episode that could have been." Perhaps some humor could have been found in this statement had it not been published in a newspaper which avoids sexual orientation stereotypes.

Justine Bateman: "played a prostitute on her brother's show." She is an actor playing a character on "Arrested Development," an intelligent comedy and was paid for doing so. Where is the punch line?

Brian Bonsall: "repeatedly hit a friend in the head with a broken wooden stool." Maybe that would be funny except for that one needn't be a former child actor to behave like a drunken idiot.

Referring to Michael J. Fox as, " a spokesman for some cause" is simply offensive.

Mr. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991. Parkinson's is a progressive degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It impairs motor skills and speech. Tremors and jerking movements are common visible symptoms. Rather than taking pity on himself, Mr. Fox chose to continue his acting career and, of greater importance, has become a key activist in the fight against this debilitating condition. He founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation. It has funded over $162 million dollars for research toward treatments and a cure. His actions deserve more respect than the trivial depiction given by the author.

I realize that the Upfront column is meant to be humorous, but sometimes intelligence and respect should prevail over attempts at humor.

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