A TEENAGER has been left humiliated after Channel 4 hit The Undateables asked him to appear on the show – because of his facial deformity. Anti-bullying campaigner Ashley Carter said the “insulting” request showed that his work was not yet done after he was asked to appear on the show. Ashley Carter was horrified after…
A TEENAGER has been left humiliated after Channel 4 hit The Undateables asked him to appear on the show – because of his facial deformity.
Anti-bullying campaigner Ashley Carter said the “insulting” request showed that his work was not yet done after he was asked to appear on the show.
The 17-year-old was born with Treacher Collins syndrome – a rare genetic disorder that causes facial deformity.
He was bullied as a child before becoming a campaigner for greater awareness around the condition – and now says he lives an “amazing life”.
So he was horrified when a researcher emailed him to ask to feature on the show, described as a “documentary series following people with challenging conditions who are looking for love”.
The thoughtless message read: “As an influential figure with a public presence, I’m sure your story will have reached out to others living with similar conditions, some of whom may be single.
“I was hoping you might be able to help us spread the word that we are looking for people who want to find love and possibly take part in our new series of the show.”
Ashley, from Taunton, Somerset, said he and his mum Louise were shocked when they read the email.
He hit back with a stinging email to production company Betty, which creates the programme.
He wrote: “Thank you for the invitation, however, your offer is precisely the reason why I am campaigning in the first place. You have proven that my work is not yet finished.
“I’m really sorry but I find this really insulting. I’m not here to go on TV to find love. I don’t like it when people find love for me.
“Just because we have conditions or syndromes, we should not be called ‘Undateable’ – I’m very insulted by this.”
He added: “We are normal people living an amazing life.”
The programme claims to “follow new singletons with a variety of conditions through the high and lows of finding love”.
However, critics of the show say it perpetuates stereotypes about people living with disabilities and other conditions.
“The show is not the platform that I’m looking to promote my campaign, “I fully understand that you’re doing your job but we are doing ours as well.