An Indiana mother is taking on a nationally-known comedian after she says he used hate speech in his latest Netflix special.
During the special, titled “Disgraceful,” Tom Segura jokes about not being able to use the word "retarded."
Now, the Down syndrome community is calling on Netflix to take the comedy special down and an online petition has been started. Many are also demanding an apology from Segura.
"People with Down syndrome are diagnosed because of the extra 21st chromosome. In 2010, the word 'retarded' was removed from medical lingo, so it is a hate speech thing. It's not a politically correct issue. It's hate speech," said mother Alyse Biro.
Alyse's daughter Felicity, also known as Flick, has Down syndrome. After hearing about and watching Tom Segura's comedy routine, she took to social media, asking Netflix to remove it.
Segura saw her post and shared it on his social media with this response: "Hey Netflix please don't take my special down. That'd be so retarded."
After that, Alyse says his fans came to her page and attacked her.
"I think his responsibility as a semi-celebrity is to take down the post, apologize and say something to his followers about how this cannot happen. You cannot harass parents. We're parents. All we want to do is make a better world for our kids and this shows us that the world isn't that great," Alyse said.
Now, a petition backed by national Down syndrome organizations has more than 27,000 signatures. And these families say they want what they call anti-Down syndrome rhetoric removed from the show.
"Our kids are the same as everybody else's kids and with hate speech like this, it's hard for us to continue to have that dialogue with the rest of society," Alyse said.
CBS4 reached out to both Netflix and Segura, but no response has been received.