Comedian defends autism show after axing
ACTOR and comedian Nikki Osborne has continued to defend her stand-up comedy show about parenting a child with autism after she was this week barred from speaking at a Brisbane disability expo.
The Brisbane-born Hoges star, whose son Teddy, 6, has high-functioning autism, had been invited to speak at the inaugural Source Kids Disability Expo at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 7, but has since been removed from the program after organisers received a barrage of complaints on their Facebook page.
Advocates questioned Osborne's involvement in the expo, accusing her of offending people with autism and making fun of her child's disability with her show, On The Spectrum, which is about how she gets by as a mother.
"I'm not going to take down autism advocates but there's a line when an advocate becomes a cyber bully and there are a few that have crossed the line," said Osborne, 36, who will perform the routine at The Paddo Tavern's Sit Down Comedy Club on July 8.
"(The show) is not about (Teddy); it's about what we go through as parents through a diagnosis. The only bits about him are the really good bits. My conscience is pretty clear there.
"If he saw my stand-up show, I'm not worried, but I do have concerns about what he is going to read online out of context, those advocates paraphrasing what they think I'm saying."
Of her decision to remove Osborne from the program, Source Kids Disability Expo founder Emma Price said: "Unfortunately, we have already borne the brunt of a debate that is not ours regarding this matter. Our intention is to deliver an event that is helpful and enjoyable for the everyone in the disability community."
Osborne was previously forced to defend her show before its debut at the recent Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April when advocates lobbied to have the City of Kingston remove it from the line-up.
The mother of two said she "lost the plot" when Teddy was first diagnosed and, having to stop work, was forced to rent out their Melbourne home on Airbnb every weekend to earn an income.
She said the show, like popular Channel 7 drama The Good Doctor, was an "outlet" that highlighted the extraordinary skill set of those with high-functioning autism.
"I needed to see my show four years ago, but there was nothing out there. It was all very serious, help books and documentaries. It was all very heavy and I just needed to feel like it was OK," she said.
"I could write a book about it but I couldn't write a book. I do comedy.
"No, I don't want to be the face of autism. I don't want to do that. I'm just working within my comedy genre.
"For anyone who has actually seen the show they walk out going 'my kid's a superhero'."