In lieu of recent activity of Derpy Hooves' removal and alteration by officials at Hasbro and Itunes I feel compelled to offer my feelings toward this matter. Why? The issue touches personally with my own life and the actions taken by corporate officials pushes an appalling message towards the show's age demographic. Let me just climb up on Twilight's soap box for a moment. *ahem*
First, I was born with a type of astigmatism that not only blurred my vision, but literally caused my eyes to cross. Basically without proper eye-wear my eyes shift off-center causing double-vision and i.e. "derpy eyes". In addition, I have a mental "disability" and have been involved with centers the majority of my life. Also personally as far as I can remember I have always been socially-awkward and clumsy, but that in no way has any relation with my state of mental health or my "derpy eyes". Yet a beloved character with crossed-eyes and relatable clumsiness has now been edited. A character became canon with a name AND voice, but now both have been removed for fear of offending those with disabilities. The reaction? Quite the opposite.
Itunes and Hasbro has insulted me and thousands of others for their actions. They gave into the complaints of the ignorantly, politically correct and shown their presuppositions towards us. This is an egregious punch in the face haphazardly Trojan-horsed as good intentions. Did we not already go through this? Have the higher-ups read any of the countless comments and arguments that the term "derpy" is not a detrimental slur towards those with disabilities? Apparently not, yet the general consensus appears to be that Derpy Hooves is offensive which I would like to ask on what grounds.
What did the character do that was so offensive? Smiled? Tried to be helpful? Playful? Outgoing? Supportive? Based on the actions taken by Hasbro and Itunes it's evident they believe that the character's name and voice are offensive to those with disabilities because that's how they perceive said group.
Okay. Basically, they are attacking a stereotype by perpetuating a stereotype. Strangely enought this brings to mind the actions of the egregiously inacurate and close-minded article from MS Blog. http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2010/12/09/my-little-homophobic-racist-smarts-shaming-pony/
Second, concerning the alteration with Derpy: I have no problem with the new voice other than the fact that its boring, it doesn't offer anything and it needs work. I feel that much of the anger towards the new voice is because it wasn't the first one they heard, but I also see another reason why many don't like the voice. Basically, the original voice was more unique and distinguishable from other characters. She wasn't given a "background pony" voice, she was given a unique voice which encapsulates the uniqueness of the the character. My REAL problem is the removal of her name. I know I don't have to explain to people that the term "derp" does not refer to those with disabilities. Nor will I talk about how Derpy is a product of the fans and it's like a spit in our face to introduce her name as canon and then treat it like a mistake. Simply put, "derp" refers to moments of awkwardness and clumsiness that every human being in existance is guilty of. Derpy Hooves embodies life's silly moments where you just have to roll your eyes, recognize your mistake, and move on. Yet what about her treatment from fans? Is she looked down on and pitied?
No, she is neither mocked nor scoffed at. She is embraced and beloved by thousands as evidenced by the support she has garnered since the first post on 4chan about her appearance from episode 1. People relate with her and immediately recognize her first in any group shot, making it their mission to find her in her in each episode. She's unique and carries an individual distinction that sets her apart from the other background ponies. However, she is not focused on as some sort of mistake or treated differently which brings me to another point brought up in this clip:
Do you notice how Derpy is treated by Rainbow Dash? Does RD pity her? Treat her differently? Does she ignore Derpy's faults? No, she's treated like anypony else and THAT'S WHAT WE WANT. Ask anyone with a disability and they will answer honestly that all we want is to be treated equally. We are sick and tired of being treated like inferiors and the notion that our "disabilities" exempt us from being involved with the rough moments of daily life. In fact, when we are treated like this we mock this behavior for it's sheer idiocy and misplaced self-righteousness that people bestow upon themselves. If we make a mistake we want to be called out on it, not given a false smile and ignored like it was nothing, that's far worse than any insult that you can say to us. Amazingly enough such an important and beautifully subtle lesson comes from a blue pegasus on a little girls show (another praise to this show).
Lastly, my biggest issue with this situation is the message it's giving little kids. Thousands of children heard the original voice and name of the character, but what will they think of the change? They will know something is different about the gray little pegaus with bubbles on her rump. How will parents respond? She was changed because she was different? What kind of message is that to children? If your different from the majority you need to be changed? It's offensive to be unique? It's better to talk down to someone with a facade of pity because they're different rather than treating them equally?
It would be best if the companies prepared their arguments for the storm that has already begun. By treating this like a mistake the higher-ups at Itunes and Hasbro have shown their true colors; proclaiming good intentions while pushing underhanded insults.