Billy Mann is a current Board Member of Autism Speaks. He is also the man behind the horrible Autism Speaks promotion “I Am Autism”, which vilified autism as a life stealing disease inflicting “normal” “healthy” children. The ad catapulted Autism Speaks into the spotlight and helped build it into a billion dollar industry. But it also did so much more.
”I Am Autism” lead to countless suicides and support for “good overwhelmed parents”, who murdered their autistic children, rather than seeking appropriate help. It spread hate and cost countless lives.
10 years after creating this abomination, while still serving on the Autism Speaks Board, Mann offered a rambling apology to the autistic community he had hurt while singing the praises of Autism Speaks and how much it has improved. He then blasted autistic advocates who weren’t moved by this apology and claimed his experience as a father was being denigrated somehow.
Billy Mann, your role as a father is not what interests me. Your role as a purveyor of hatred and false information is. And your words are hollow. We want reparations for the wrongs you have done to the autistic NOT AUTISM community. Since you have so much to give to Autism Speaks, I suggest real reparations. Sizeable donations to organizations ACTUALLY RUN by autistic people to strengthen our community, such as The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autistic Women and Non-Binary Network, and The Aspergian.
Put your money where your mouth is and support real autistic organizations or accept that your hollow words are worthless to us in the face of the loss of life caused by your actions. You are a powerful man with a strong business. You know exactly how much your empty gesture is worth to our community.