Mother Petitions LeBron James to Apologize for Belittling Children With Cleft Palates on TV Show

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Mother Petitions LeBron James to Apologize for Belittling Children With Cleft Palates on TV Show


The mother of a child with a cleft palate started a Care2 petition asking the producers of “Survivor’s Remorse” to apologize for comments made on the show

LAWTON, OKLAHOMA — A mother has started a Care2 petition asking producer LeBron James and others connected to the Starz TV show Survivor’s Remorse, to apologize for comments made on the show belittling people with cleft lips and palates. Care2 petition author Jill Lewis has a two-year-old son who was born with a cleft lip and palate. Her petition has gathered nearly 40,000 signatures.


Lewis says it was “upsetting” to watch an episode that aired Oct. 3, in which characters described children born with cleft lip and palate as having “f’ed up mouths, snaggle teeth, and weird lips.”

“Survivor’s Remorse should be ashamed of themselves for allowing their “comedy” to send the message that it is OK to make fun of brave kids like my son,” Lewis told Care2.

Lewis, who lives in Lawton, OK., says her son Andrew has had multiple surgeries to repair his lip, palate, and ear tubes, but still can’t do simple things like drink from a straw. She says his first days were particularly hard.

“When Andrew was first born, he had to be airlifted to the Oklahoma City Children’s Hospital, where he spent two weeks in the NICU,” Lewis says. “Due to his issues, he wasn’t able to eat, lost his birth weight, and had prenatal teeth. Having to watch your newborn be lifted away in a helicopter and then needing to travel one and a half hours to get to him is really hard to do.”

Her Care2 petition has gathered support from the #CleftStrong community, which is comprised of parents with kids who are cleft-affected.

Lewis hopes her Care2 petition will lead the show’s producer LeBron James, creator Mike O’Malley, and Starz Network producers to issue a public statement of apology.

“With such high profile names like LeBron James, Mike O’Malley, and Tichina Arnold attached to this show,” she writes, “it would make the cleft community eternally grateful to turn this unfortunate and upsetting choice of words into a chance to teach acceptance and awareness.”


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