“Girl Meets World’s” Representation Of Autism Has Sparked Backlash

If you grew up in the ’90s, you’re familiar with the ABC sitcom The child gets to know the worldIt was aired between 1993 and 2000.

The show follows the lives of its main characters from age 11 to college graduation. The series ended with the main character Cory, his wife Topanga, best friend Shawn, and brother Eric moving to New York City.

And in 2014, 14 years after the emotional finale, The child gets to know the world revived for the continuation of the series Girl meets the worldFollows Cory and Topanga’s daughter Riley, played by Rowan Blanchard.

It aired for three seasons until 2017, and as before, Riley and her friends learned valuable life lessons as they grew up.

Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel reprized their roles as Riley’s parents and played a central role in the show, while most of the other main cast The child gets to know the world or had episodes or were recurring characters in the series.

But despite the great similarities between The child gets to know the world the and Girl meets the worldmany viewers claim that he struggled to live up to the high standards set by the latter. A boy.

This was highlighted in “Girl Meets Farkle” Season 2, which was recently revived on TikTok after airing on Disney Channel in September 2015.

In the episode, Riley’s friend Farkle tells her and their other friends Maya and Lucas that she’s being tested for autism, and that the TikTok user who shared the video is being treated “like it’s a terminal illness.”

“They want to see if I have autism,” Farkle explains in the story. To which Maya snapped, “You’re not.”

Riley repeats, “Let’s just tell them you won’t.”

“I may have a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome,” Farkle continues. But Maya repeats: “You’re not like that.”

Interestingly, this episode aired two years after the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) eliminated the term “Asperger’s syndrome” and was no longer used by clinicians as a separate diagnosis of autism.

Riley sadly continues, “Farkle, when I said you were little Farkle, I meant…” Lucas interrupted, “You’re acting like a normal Farkle.”

Farkle’s father then explains that his friends are important to his son, who “was a part of this,” and Riley replies, “Because he’s Farkle.”

Maya adds, “That’s who you are, no matter what anyone says.”

“BRUCH I’M EXCUSE ME, but do you all remember???” wrote social media user John while sharing the clip. “Why did they react like he had SOME kind of terminal illness.”

Viewers agreed that the scene was absolutely hilarious, and TikTok quickly went viral, garnering over 237,000 likes and thousands of comments.

In the comments, people were shocked by Maya and Riley’s reaction to Farkle’s test, while autistic people admitted the episode left them “horrified” and “scared” to tell their friends about their diagnosis for the first time. saw him.

“Lowkey this episode made me sad because I have aspergers and their reactions made me feel horrible. like they gave up. It honestly broke me,” one person wrote.

“Watching this episode in high school was the only reason I was afraid to tell my friends about my autism 💀,” agreed another.

“I loved the show and I’m so glad I wasn’t diagnosed with autism when I watched it, which would have killed me,” a third person admitted.

“It’s actually very wrong and harmful for children to watch😭,” wrote another. Another commented: “They acted like they changed after the diagnosis💀.”

“Omg everything she said to him was a train wreck 😭,” the user added. Another said: “They thought I was going to die.”

Another said: “No, because the first time I saw it, I thought, ‘Why are they going to die, they are doing such a terrible thing.'”

Many people commented on how “aggressive” Maya and Riley were when they repeated “you’re not,” with the original poster replying to one comment: “It’s so toxic to say something to someone who just said something serious to you.”

“It was so far 😭😭😭,” agreed another. Another asked: “Why are they acting so scary 💀💀”

“This is sick 😭😭 imagine the autistic kids watching this. it destroys me,” wrote another. “This is why the media needs GOOD autistic representation because now what the hell is going on,” one user concluded.

Other viewers couldn’t help but compare the scene to the storylines they grew up enjoying The child gets to know the worldone person wrote: “It was great for the kid to be introduced to the world, they made the spinoffs so bad.”

“The kid gets a really good introduction to the world that solves a lot of problems,” agreed another. “The girl who met the world ran away from the bag.”

The episode ends with Farkle being told that he doesn’t have autism.

But The child gets to know the world In the nearly 30 years since it aired, it has generally maintained high praise from fans, but it still gets called out for some seriously problematic moments.

In fact, Danielle and her former co-stars Ryder Strong and Will Friedle directly addressed these aspects of the show on their podcast, Pod meets the worldthey launched in the summer.

Last month, Ryder recalled being “very upset with the adults” for sexualizing Corey and Topanga in episodes that were banned from the Disney Channel.

She and Will also opened up about their “extremely awkward” experience as child stars, having to repeatedly confront the back-up cast.


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