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Shannon Penrod: Hey Amazon, What the HELL???

Dear Amazon,

We need to talk. We’ve been friends for a long time, and a good friend tells you when you have one finger stuck up your nose and the other one in a light socket…so here goes. What in the hell are you thinking? I just heard you didn’t renew As We See It? Are you drinking? I thought I knew who you were, and now I’m not sure! Let’s break this down, shall we?

The show is brilliant and has a following. The Emmy buzz is high for this amazing series because it is beautifully written and has epic groundbreaking story lines. Critics loved it AND the Autism Community embraced it. Do you have any idea how epic that is? It’s monumental. Why on earth would you cancel it?

Every CEO of every major company has identified the need to include diversity and inclusion in every element of their business – but they are all trying to figure out HOW to do it. AMAZON! You already made it happen with As We See It! You had autistic actors playing people on the spectrum! You had autistic actors playing people who were neurotypical! You had people of all abilities working on ALL levels of the production. You were the SHINING CITY ON THE HILL! You were the example for all to see that it not only is possible, it works! And it did work! The show was phenomenal, so I truly don’t understand why you would stop now. Has someone been pressuring you to be someone you aren’t? Don’t listen to them!
There are plenty of shows that had a great but not meteoric start in their first season that found their bigger audience in their second season. Did someone say, “VEEP?” or how about The Simpsons? There is some subject matter that is so good it has to be given time to breath and resonate with the audience. You don’t choke the life out of it. That’s not who you are. Is it? Give As We See It a chance!

Look, I don’t know what your decision was based on, but it was wrong. And it had to have been one of those things where you were on the fence about it before you ultimately decided to be wrong. So, as a friend, I’m asking you to rethink this. As a PONI, Parent of a Neurodiverse Individual, I am telling you we need this, and there are a lot of us. People on the spectrum need to hear their stories and you were doing it authentically. The world need to see and embrace this community. You were on the right side of this; get on the right side again. Because if you don’t someone else will…Netflix, are you paying attention? You did something really good Amazon, don’t mess it up now!

My beloved Autism Community of Self-Advocates, PONIs, Therapists, and Allies: if you are like me and think this is a HUGE MISTAKE, please take a minute and let Amazon know. They think you don’t care; they think you aren’t watching. Let them know what the show and the jobs around it meant to you! Let Amazon see you. Don’t let them cancel your voice! #HeyAmazon #SaveAsWeSeeIt


Shannon Penrod
Host of Autism Live – the #1 Rated Autism Podcast
Author of Autism: Parent to Parent
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