Disney pulls episode of 'Jessie' over gluten-free controversy




We've heard of television series pulling episodes due to potential offense from viewers several times before: shows have been pulled or altered due to religious beliefs; a school shooting has oft delayed the release of a particularly violent episode of a drama series; quite recently, an episode of 'Castle' was delayed in light of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.

But... pulling an episode over an allergy? This may be a first.

Disney channel has opted to pull an episode of its hit family series 'Jessie' out of rotation due to an insensitive response to a child character on a gluten-free diet. The episode “Quitting Cold Koala,” which was to premiere last Friday, finds Debby Ryan’s titular nanny tasked with minding Zuri’s frenemy Stuart (played by J.J. Totah), who follows a gluten-free diet. Upon learning the food restrictions that Glutencome with his condition, jokes are made, one of which involved pancakes being tossed at Stuart while he screams, “Gluten!”

On one hand, it can be argued that the teasing was in good fun, however viewers are right to respond negatively when a child's allergy--a very dangerous one at that--is made sport of, perhaps encouraging viewers to behave similarly.


Coeliac disease, characterized by a severe autoimmune reaction to wheat gluten, is no laughing matter. It is a disorder of the small intestine that causes pain and discomfort in the digestive tract, chronic constipation and failure to thrive. It is more commonly known as gluten intolerance.

Disney posted the following regarding the episode in question:

"We received your feedback about tonight’s 'Jessie' episode which some of you accessed early on Video-on-Demand. We are removing this particular episode from our regular programming schedule and will re-evaluate its references to gluten restrictions in the character’s diet. Please accept our apologies for the upset this episode caused you and your family."


- Jessie (2011)

Written by: bad_subject
May 22nd, 2013, 8:19 am

Images courtesy of Disney Channel


Message Posted On May 28th, 2013, 3:19 am
Could not agree more with Anon. Its pathetic in this day and age this happens. If it was pulled due to the fact that some viewers may do the same, well for one if an adult did something to harm someone else based on their dietary needs its a crime. And if a child may does it, it should be up to the parents to make sure the message gets across that it is dangerous and to make sure it doesnt happen. Also, the TV remote has this amazing ability to change channel. If you dont like whats on or it offends you, turn it the hell off! Dont ruin it for the rest of the world who have common sense and know what a joke is.

(Crazed Contributor)

Level 24 (43%)
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Message Posted On May 22nd, 2013, 7:01 pm

Celiac disease is extremely uncommon. Only a tiny fraction of those who *think* they have it actually do. And when the doctor proposes finding out for sure, they don't want to - because the gold standard is to put a 'scope down the gut and look. In addition, celiac disease can't kill you quickly like some other allergies can (those that can cause anaphalaxis). This is an over-reaction on the part of the offended and on the part of Disney.


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Message Posted On May 22nd, 2013, 5:13 pm

OK, just where do we draw the politically correct line now? If this was a concern it should have never made it to script let alone production. This is a show for juveniles: what the heck were they thinking? I'd expect more, especially from Disney.


Message Posted On May 22nd, 2013, 9:14 am
I don't want to live on this planet anymore.....
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