A US YouTuber has inspired a Twitter campaign after she read a tweet that said: “Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair.”
The tweet that got Annie Segarra so annoyed was actually four years old. It had been written by author Ken Jennings, known in the US for winning the classic TV game show Jeopardy! 74 times in a row – and pocketing more than $2.5m (£1.85m) in the process.
Segarra, who tweets using the Twitter handle @annieelainey – adapted Jennings’ tweet so it read “#HotPersonInAWheelchair”, adding: “Cry about it, babe”. She attached a photo to the tweet showed her in a chic outfit.
More than 2,700 people liked the post from Segarra – who was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) in 2014 and is now a wheelchair user.
It prompted some of her followers who are also wheelchair users to post photos of themselves with the same hashtag.
Australian para-athlete Robyn Lambird (@Robyn_lambird) shared this image of herself wearing a white hoodie.
And this came from Elsie, wearing a pink leather jacket (@65PinkRoses).
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Segarra addressed the issue further on Facebook.
“We’re here, we’re hot, we deserve to feel hot, to be seen, to take up space,” she posted.
“We deserve to use the mobility aids and any other device or assistance we need without shame.
“I think what’s important here is that tweets stand the test of time. They still have the power to hurt and offend or anger years after posting when their author totally forgot what they’d originally said.”
Meanwhile images using Segarra’s hashtag kept coming. Diogo Martins (@rodas89) tweeted a picture of himself and his partner, both in wheelchairs.
“A hot woman in a wheelchair is in a relationship with a guy (who she states is hot too) in a wheelchair!” he wrote in the caption.
And Caitlin Goerlich (@CGoerlich) commented to Ken Jennings, the original tweeter, “Hey @KenJennings – I think you are very, very wrong.”
She then posted photos of herself in prom dresses, casually at home and practising archery.
Back in 2014 – when the original tweet was posted – California-based stand-up comic Billy Anderson (@BillyAndersonYo) tried to lighten the mood. He tweeted a posed-by-model image of a man in a wheelchair sweltering in a sunny garden.
“When @KenJennings tweeted ‘Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair’ pretty sure he meant it THIS way. #SoSad”
Ken Jennings hasn’t responded directly to the most recent criticism to date.