Grace Tame on the Spectrum: Why activists shine on Netflix’s autism dating show in memoir

Why Grace Tame launched an extraordinary attack on the autism dating show Love on the Spectrum: ‘Guests to patronize’

  • Tame published her book The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner: A Memoir last week
  • She describes how reality dating show Love on the Spectrum made her ‘cringe’
  • Tame says people’s differences are sold as a commercial product
  • Tame, 27, said: “I think of the TV show Love on the Spectrum and I cringe.
  • She was diagnosed with high functioning autism and ADHD

Grace Tame hits the spot on autism-focused reality dating show Love on the Spectrum, admits it made her ‘cringe’

The 27-year-old, who herself suffers from autism and ADHD, targeted the series in her recently published book, The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner: A Memoir.

She criticised the show as a “novelty” for those without the disease and said people’s differences were sold as a “commercial product”.

“At least in my experience, autistic stereotypes are far from the truth,” she said.

“I think of the TV show Spectrum Love, and I cringe.

“Whatever the educational benefit of the show, giving a glimpse into the different manifestations of people with autism, it doesn’t outweigh the selling of these people’s differences – their struggles – as a commercial product. The ultimate, unavoidable cost; as entertainment.

Grace Tame shines on autism-focused reality dating show Love on the Spectrum, admits it made her ‘cringe’

The 27-year-old, who herself suffers from autism and ADHD, targeted the series in her recently published book, The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner: A Memoir. Tame with UNSW criminologist Michael Salter

The 27-year-old, who herself suffers from autism and ADHD, targeted the series in her recently published book, The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner: A Memoir. Tame with UNSW criminologist Michael Salter

Tame, who is Australia’s Person of the Year in 2021 for her role in advocating for victims of sexual assault, said Love on the Spectrum, and shows like it, meant those with autism would be “sympathized” by viewers and “rejection”.

Tame was diagnosed with high-functioning autism while living in the US after high school — where she was raped and groomed by her 58-year-old math teacher.

“An autism diagnosis is definitely a big piece of the puzzle,” Grace told ABC earlier.

‘ But it’s also very confrontational. You know, I already think I have a problem.

Love on the Spectrum is a show on Netflix and ABC that looks at the dating lives of people on the autism spectrum, which Tame sees as a

Love on the Spectrum, a Netflix and ABC show that looks at the dating lives of people on the autism spectrum, is, in Tame’s opinion, “a novelty” for neurotic audiences

Love on the Spectrum is a show on Netflix and ABC that looks at the dating lives of people on the autism spectrum, which Tame sees as a “novelty” for neurotypical audiences.

“The creator of Spectral Love, who was not autistic, made a show about the lives of autistic people, from which he reaps most of his financial and commercial interest,” she said in her memoirs.

“Together with the fact that autistic people are advised by a non-autistic therapist, it is ultimately the autistic people – I’m not criticizing them at all – who are the subconscious punchline of the oppressed, the voice damaged.

She said that while it was more representative of the chaos than other shows, it “reinforced” the idea that those who were different needed to be submissive.

Tame says the show means those with autism will feel 'poor'

Tame says the show means those with autism will feel ‘poor’

Tame’s memoir, released last Tuesday, revolves around her abuse by teacher Nicolaas Bester at her Hobart school.

She was only 15 when the sexual abuse began.

In 2011, Bester was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to “maintaining a relationship with a young person under the age of 17” and possessing child exploitative material.

Best served a year and nine months in jail and continued to complain that his conviction cost him “everything”, including his reputation in the community.

The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner: A Memoir by Grace Tame is available now, retailing for $49.99.

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