Andrea Fay Friedman, a 39-year-old actress and public speaker, has insisted that by providing the voice for the character of Ellen in an episode last weekend of the animated TV show 'Family Guy' she was not making fun of people, like herself, who suffer from the chromosomal disorder Down Syndrome
Nor she says was she specifically making fun of Trig Palin, the youngest son of former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, and ex-Alaskan Governor, Sarah Palin.
Both Mrs Palin and her daughter Bristol launched strong attacks on the writers of 'Family Guy'
, a show broadcast by the Fox network.
As the New York Daily News
reports Bristol Palin called the show's writers "heartless jerks" and with her mother has said that the episode which featured the voice of Andrea Fay Friedman was "another kick in the gut".
More of Bristol Palin's comments are contained within a report
from Digital Journal
Meanwhile Sarah Palin, now a political commentator for Fox News Channel, told Bill O'Reilly, on the show he hosts on Fox, that it was "cruel, cold-hearted people" who make fun of those with some form of mental disability.
But Ms Friedman has now hit back at Mrs Palin, in an email to and phone interview with the New York Times
And in an interview with the CBS
celebrity website The Insider
Acknowledging in the New York Times
interview that she was making fun of Sarah Palin, and emphasizing she was not doing the same to Trig Palin, Ms Friedman said in her email to the paper:
I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska” was very funny. I think the word is “sarcasm. In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life
However the New York Times
seemingly did not print the entire contents of Ms Friedman's email, and as a result is accused of being "wimpy" by Gawker
For the Palingates
blogspot has obtained a copy of the email in question, apparently via Ms Friedman's father, and reveals that it reads in full:
My name is Andrea Fay Friedman. I was born with Down syndrome. I played the role of Ellen on the "Extra Large Medium" episode of Family Guy that was broadcast on Valentine's day. Although they gave me red hair on the show, I am really a blonde. I also wore a red wig for my role in " Smudge" but I was a blonde in "Life Goes On". I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line "I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska" was very funny. I think the word is "sarcasm".
In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes
In her interview with The Insider
Ms Friedman, who also works in the accounting department of a major law firm and is said to have appeared on shows that include 'Saving Grace' and 'Law & Order: SVU', repeats her accusation that Mrs Palin uses her son to further her political career.
The reason why I'm angry at her is because she wants to have more votes, and that's not right
Among the comments left on The Insider
site beneath details of Ms Friedman's interview are two that suggest it is the actress now being used, by her own father and the makers of 'Family Guy'.
The two commentators are anonymous, with one of them observing:
First of all Family Guy is the most disrespectful, unfunny immoral show on TV! They are using her to make fun and there is nothing funny about it! Her dad only agreed to have her on that show for the money. He should be ashamed of himself! Andrea, You Rock!!!!!!! Downs is a challenge and you have done a great job dealing with that challenge
Comment number two notes:
Andrea is just saying what she was told to say...and the family guy people are using her for humor...not right...she has enough problems without worrying about ratings for a non-funny show