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Regarding This Week’s Episode of “Scream Queens”

By September 30, 2016December 5th, 2023Awareness, NF1, NF2-SWN, Story of NF, SWN, Video

Like the rest of the NF community, we are stunned after watching this week’s episode of “Scream Queens”, titled “Warts & All.” In addition to providing escape and entertainment, television shows have the capacity to teach and make the audience feel something. However, this show needlessly elicited pain and anger in a community seeking nothing more than kindness and acceptance.

These sixty minutes of scripted programming have done a terrible disservice to the millions of people around the world living with neurofibromatosis – also known as NF – a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow throughout the body. NF is a lifelong condition often diagnosed in childhood, and it can affect bones, vision, hearing, and other body systems. It can also sometimes lead to cancer.

On “Scream Queens,” the character ‘Tyler’ was depicted as suffering from ‘bubble-like warts,’ but in reality those skin bumps are benign tumors known as dermals, one of the possible manifestations in a person who lives with NF type 1. While most NF patients do not look like ‘Tyler’ from the TV show, they all share in a common humanity of compassion and understanding, and demonstrate remarkable courage and a positive spirit in the face of adversity. “Although we hope the producers of the show didn’t mean to hurt the NF community, I am personally hurt and very upset about what I saw on Tuesday night,” said Annette Bakker, President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

NF is genetic – it doesn’t spread from touching, or hugging another person, or in any other possible way. There is no “CO-2 laser” machine that can “shrink and eventually remove” the tumors, as referred to on the show. In fact, the notion of a quick fix trivializes the very real and very serious need to fund research for treatments and, one day, a cure for the 125,000 people in the United States and nearly 2.5 million people worldwide living with NF.

This is why, in light of this episode, the executive team of the Foundation has reached out directly to the show’s producers and asked them to learn the facts about NF, to get to know the NF community and its NF Heroes, and to join us in the fight to end NF.

We’ve also sent them a link to this video, called “This is NF.” If you know someone who is asking about NF, please share this video.