Dear CBS, Celiac is Real and It’s Really Awful

Recently I connected with Jennifer Eposito via Twitter about her Celiac project. I posted all about it on my post here about Jennifer’s Way. She was kind and amazing and made me feel like I was doing something good for the community by being a blogger and an advocate. I was so stoked to finally have someone in the limelight that was doing something good for our cause. She basically rules. However, this weekend a crapstorm came up when she was let go from her job at Blue Bloods on CBS. CBS said, “Jennifer has informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule. As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.” But the back story is that she was put on a leave because of Celiac and all the shenanigans that are a part of a never-ending healing process. There’s lots of articles about it that chronicle it all if you haven’t caught up – like Entertainment Weekly and But to hear it from here, find her twitter here.

Two awesome Celiac bloggers have already talked about this issue – Gluten Dude and Glam Without Gluten. Read their posts – as they are awesome.

But after the weekend that I had, I think it’s time for me to blog about it.

Here’s what I posted about it on Gluten Dude’s post and it’s how I feel.

I think this is a huge fear for many of us – being discriminated against due to a disease we have little control over. This allows us to be ashamed of who we are. How pathetic that we have to hide how much pain we are in because of stuff like this! I’m terrified of losing jobs because I’m always at doctor appointments. What if they let me go or won’t promote me because I can’t eat at business lunches with clients at unsafe restaurants?!? It’s horrifying to see it happen to celebrities. But I think it’s a reflection of the world today. We can’t be taken seriously and it has this Celiac up in arms. I’m not a Nielson family, so my ratings don’t count, but I will be anti-CBS until this gets resolved!

I hate that we are not taken seriously. I often don’t feel safe when I eat out – but I grin and bear it and try not to scream and fly off the handle at anyone (like the restaurant I went to this weekend) that doesn’t understand me or doesn’t do it right because they think it’s just a fad. Every day I am faced with someone new who doesn’t know what Celiac is and I fight to get them to understand, but it is exhausting. And it’s exhausting outside of the actual disease – which is nasty and makes me want to sleep in all the time!

So, do something about it! Not only about this case – but about advocacy. NEVER LOSE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE! NEVER LOSE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT GLUTEN! I know it’s exhausting, but issues like this make me want to fight even harder for the cause.

This is just one opportunity to make our voices heard in the community. Gluten Dude posted a few ways on how we can make our voices heard with CBS – and I suggest you use this opportunity to tell CBS what you think! We finally have a celebrity doing GOOD for our cause, and now she’s being bullied by a major network. NOT COOL!


Let’s help Jennifer fight for her cause and fight for our cause along the way! You guys are great! Keep fighting the good fight!

Comments: 20

  1. Chrissy October 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm Reply

    It is exhausting, but now, I am going to spread the word even more, and I will NEVER stop fighting for US!!!!


  2. Kerby Hyland October 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Thanks for the post and the new Twitter and email addresses to send my complaints to. I have already tweeted to every CBS show/news I watch. I will hammer them Saturday and Sunday when CBSSN and NFL on CBS is going. Lots of people that don’t normally tune in to social media do so during college and NFL football broadcasts. I suffer from immune disease and have been through this with my former employer. I find CBS treatment of Ms. Esposito deplorable. I am boycotting CBS and their sponsors presently.

  3. tim carls October 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Great post – CBS just has no compassion, understanding or respect. I am very surprised & disappointed. The CBS suits better start paying attention – losing fans fast, but more importantly, not accommodating or helping Jennifer with her disease is completely unacceptable.

  4. Alissa October 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm Reply

    This whole thing is crazy stupid. If she had diabetes, or lupus, you can bet that not only would something like this NOT have happened at all, but that there would have been serious ramifications if it did. I get so sick of people assuming that because celiac disease treatment is ENTIRELY diet-based, it obviously must not be as debilitating, painful or legitimate as any other autoimmune disease. Ugh.

  5. Linda Caldwell October 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm Reply

    I had read the article about Jennifer Esposito and was so sorry she has this terrible illness, but also glad to read about people who are in the limelight and might help make a difference for the rest of us. This is a very misunderstood, and very serious illness. Come on CBS, she needs a little more limited work schedule, would she perhaps be accommodated if she had breast cancer, some other disease that is more in the news and that people would come out of the wordwork for you firing her.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I watch Blue Bloods every week, a faithful viewer,and I will miss the show truly, but she was one of my favorites always, just realized about a week ago she even had celiac disease as I do. If you cannot accommodate someone in a situation like that, you certainly show how invaluable humans are to everyone. I will NEVER watch the show again if Jennifer Esposito is not on there, and I will be campaigning for others to do the same, and to just flat boycott CBS in general. We need humanity in this world, badly, why don’t you show a little!

  6. Frank October 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm Reply

    I think the character was shallow and pointless anyways. Shame on Esposito for manipulating CBS into an undeserved pay raise which she clearly doesn’t deserve. Maybe now an up and coming actress who appreciates the role more will be forthcoming. horay for CBS!!!

    • Erica October 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm Reply

      Seriously Frank, you’re going to go into a Celiac site and bash on this lady we’re obviously speaking so highly about? Hmmmm, me thinks you should go on all the OTHER websites that clearly don’t understand the purpose of our posts – to support a fellow Celiac who just wants to live her life. Manipulation? She just wants to act and be a Celiac – to care for her body (which often times is very very hard to do!). Why would you hoooray CBS? Do you have Celiac?

  7. jensen October 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm Reply

    Jennifer Esposito is NOTORIOUS for being nasty and abusive. She thinks the whole world needs to stop because she found out she is a celiac. She did her job fine for 2 years. If it were an alcoholic carrying on it would not be tolerated. For chrissakes she is not dying of cancer. Lay off the potato vodka Jennifer.

    • Erica October 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm Reply

      Do you know anything about Celiac disease? It can be debilitating. It can lead to numerous life-long illnesses if not diagnosed properly or not handled properly. Just because she eats right doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have to suffer long-term damage from not being diagnosed until later in life. And the whole world doesn’t need to stop – but people (employers, boyfriends, coworkers, family) need to understand that coping with Celiac is so difficult! And apparently numerous networks keep alcoholics employed – or else we wouldn’t have Celebrity Rehab! Has she ever been nasty and abusive to you? Because to me, and the rest of the Celiac community, she’s been nothing but an advocate for us so far.

      • jensen October 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm Reply

        Have you ever worked with her? Trust me. This has less to do with gluten than you imagine.

        • Erica October 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm Reply

          Well, I guess that’s what I want to ask you – have YOU ever worked with her? Again, do you have an autoimmune disease or Celiac? Do you know what it’s like to live with it? Questions that would help me understand where you are coming from with these negative posts.

          • jensen October 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm

            Bless you and best of luck to you. I follow a gluten free diet and know all about the hangovers, depressions and to be frank the loneliness and isolation that go along with the disorder and not being able to participate in life the same as other people. Many don’t understand and think it is only about “not eating wheat”. Nobody, however, has the right to inflict misery on other people. Trust me, this is something else.

          • Erica October 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

            Well, I’m sorry that you have to go through all of that – believe me, I understand. So while I am sympathetic to you – like we all should be to those suffering from the same genetic shenanigans of Celiac – I’m just trying to understand why you are so negative to her and don’t feel like she has the same right to be happy and able to participate in life and follow her dream as others.

  8. jensen October 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm Reply

    P.S. You don’t hear ANY of her cast mates sticking up for her do you? I am sure it was absolute HELL dealing with her every day.

    • Erica October 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm Reply

      I just don’t understand why you think it was Hell to deal with her? Because she has Celiac? Because she has needs that are different than other people? Do you have Celiac or another autoimmune disorder? I guess I just don’t understand where you are coming from.

    • mary fran | frannycakes October 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm Reply

      Why bash her personality? Even if you don’t like her, personality has nothing to do with an employer stating that someone was let go for a medical condition/disability.

      I don’t care if she was hard to work with like you assert, claiming a medical issue is a reason for letting someone go is illegal in this country.

      Besides, if you are that sick, how on earth do people expect you do be all flowers and sunshine?

    • Gl;uten Dude October 23, 2012 at 6:57 am Reply

      Jensen…get your head out of the tabloids and join us for a real discussion.

  9. mary fran | frannycakes October 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm Reply

    I cannot possibly imagine how she (or anyone with celiac feels), I certainly can empathize. I nearly lost a job because of a chronic pain condition that no one understood.

    The whole gluten-free community (celiacs, gluten-intolerants, wheat allergic (that’s me), and everyone else) need to stand together and educate the world around us.

    This is an excellent post! Keep fighting the good fight!

  10. Cordell Loken October 23, 2012 at 7:27 am Reply

    I have lived a happy and better than normal celiac life after discovering 25 years ago that I need to live gluten free. I have to avoid wheat, barley, rye, and oats. By following the rules I have no lack of energy and no problems; in fact, my avoidance of pasta has shed a whole new light on arthritis and joint problems. The REAL TRICK is to totally avoid gluten and READ all food labels because gluten shows up in many foods including batter dipped french fries, licorice, soy sauce, and even in scrambled eggs in unmentioned restaurants. The worst sneaky offender is MODIFIED FOOD STARCH made from wheat. You find that in many brands of yogurt and ice cream, and almost wherever you look, including the best tasting barbecue sauces and salad dressings. Another thing I learned by process of elimination is that MSG makes me depressed. I am fine as long as I avoid all of the above mentioned no-no’s. Best of HEALTH to all who read my paragraph ! I am over 70 and in great health; I take no pills other than a few vitamins.

  11. Cordell Loken October 23, 2012 at 7:31 am Reply

    Since I do not “twitter” I do not know how to pass along my vital info to Ms Jennifer Esposito, so I hope some kind soul will do so for me. THANKS !

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