Posted by: Sarah Kemp | March 5, 2009

Clowns…Discrimination?

In my Into to PR class we were discussing the controversial topic of discrimination. In the PR field it is very important not to discriminate in the work place, other agencies, your audiences, and everything that you do. Our professor found a very interesting perspective on discrimination that I had never really thought about… Clowns.

Brian McDonald made a film that was presented at the Film Festivals and was also played on HBO called “White Face”. The film was about a doctor named Howard, who happened to be a clown. In the medical profession specifically, there is a lot of discrimination or stereotypes of how we see a typical doctor in America… Howard would experience all types of discrimination because he was a clown, even though he had all the same certifications of all the other doctors.

In class we discussed a few questions about the discrimination of Howard in the workplace. Some questions in our discussion were about discrimination in the health care facility and why it was wrong… Seeing the movie made me think about how easy it is to discriminate people because you would not normally think of a clown as a doctor, but you cannot ethically discriminate just by appearance. Just because Dr. Blinky was a clown did not effect his abilities as a doctor. It also made me think about how people can feel when they are discriminated against.

In Public Relations it is always important to view all clients and co-workers the same and not discriminate people for their appearance, beliefs, political views, etc. In the field or PR you never know who you will work with, work for, or work for you… Our society is a diverse one and we must be realistically able to work with all types of people from all walks of life. This topic made me think of one of my favorite quotes…

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them”- Mother Teresa

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