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Fellow writers, brony and non, there is a dilemma of my favorite television show which I must bring to light. An innocent and beloved background character, a pegasus known as Derpyhooves, has been banned from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for being found offensive. Apparently her crossed eyes, ditzy personality, and retarded appearance make her something unworthy of a children’s show. But I cry challenge, and rise to the defense of best pony.

First of all, those who got Derpy banned have holes in their case. They got rid of her because they thought that the show’s use of Derpy as funny material would rub off on the children that watched My Little Pony. They assume that because the show appears to want children to laugh at special-needs people, children will. This reasoning is far from bulletproof. Kids are not mean--they wouldn’t do that. They know better. It is Derpyhooves’ endearing personality and general cuteness that makes people laugh. Think of a puppy that trips over its own feet in eagerness. If you laugh at your own pet or child because they did something that you found funny, would people frown on you and call you out for being a bully? Of course not. It’s a one-time thing, and you didn’t really mean it. The same principle applies to Derpyhooves and fans of My Little Pony. If your child sees Derpyhooves in the background in a crowd of ponies once every few episodes, he/she will not point and laugh at her because she’s ‘stupid.’

Another reason I’m going to throw at you is not for the sake of Derpy or even our children--it’s for the sake of us. Any brony could tell you this. Despite her obvious disabilities, Derpyhooves carries on and acts like she is a normal pony, even if she is laughed at or yelled at for trying her best. If she can move on past her inherent disadvantages, which have been put upon her for a reason she cannot discern, then who is to say we cannot continue our daily lives and live them as if they were as precious as they truly are? Derpyhooves is an inspiration to all of us. Like Bethany Hamilton, the surfer whose arm was bitten off by a shark and still surfs better than some of us who have both arms. Like Albert Einstein, who was autistic and grew up to be one of the most brilliant minds in history. This pony is so much more than a silly cartoon character. How could you take such a brilliant role model out of a child’s TV program for the sake of telegeniality?

But do not think that because of my conviction I am blind to the opposition. I can see why one would take offense to Derpy’s role on the show. When she does canonically appear, she is regarded as a sense of comic relief to the show. This, coupled with her apparent retardation, could be a perfectly legitimate reason to deem her inappropriate. But think about what has been done to Derpyhooves. She has been called horrible derogatory things and shooed in the corner, all because she’s mentally challenged. How would you feel if this were happening to a real person? An actual special-needs kid, kept in the dark because a few people think their presence is an outrage? This is unheard of, without question. Think about the example we are sending to those who watch this show. ‘Mommy, where did Derpyhooves go?’ ‘Why did they take her away?’ How many of you could answer that?

I beg of you, whoever has the power to do so, reverse this terrible wrong. Just because she is a character doesn’t mean she cannot make an impact on society. Derpy’s presence will not negatively affect My Little Pony’s viewers. The struggle of a pony with realistic challenges is a beacon for some of us who equally struggle. Our society’s youth deserve to observe the correct way of treating a special-needs individual, within or without a cartoon. If we can save children with Cerebral Palsy or Autism, what prevents us from saving a little derpy pegasus? Nothing but our own overreactivity.



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Fluttershy lover said...
Oct. 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm
I'm a pegasister and I really love derpy. Your point of views are great. I think that Lauren Faust should let derpy come out in season 4. Also, my brony friends say that derpy can be a great example of special need kids. They should see that derpy can be a great pony if they give her a chance. Many kids in elementary sometimes make fun of special need kids or sometimes treat them horrible. But if they watch My Little Pony: friendship is magic, then they will under stand kids with special needs a... (more »)
 
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