The Old and Tired

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I love this letter from an LA Times reader about the representation of older folks in the media in general, and specifically in Disney’s latest film UP. Just like jokes about fat people, those who are older always seem to be the target of bad writers who have have to rely on stereotypes to get easy laughs. So uninspired and tired!

clipped from www.latimes.com

Time For a Fresh Take on Old Age

I agree with Kenneth Turan ["Buoyant Spirit," May 29] that it is exciting to see a movie “dealing unapologetically with one of Hollywood’s last and most persistent taboos, old people.” How unfortunate, though, that “Up” relied so heavily on outdated clichés of old people to get laughs from its audience.

The ubiquitous jokes about prunes, dentures and canes were sadly unoriginal and perpetuate the same tiresome stereotypes of old age that no longer reflect reality.

Though most children would never guess this based on the images they see in movies and television, the majority of Americans age 65 and over are happy and active members of society.

With 12,000 baby boomers turning 63 years old every day, my guess is the public is going to tire of these outdated images. I strongly encourage the entertainment industry to do a better job of showing a more diverse view of old age.

Catherine A. Sarkisian

Los Angeles

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