Yesterday, we ran an explainer on the Instagram drama involving So Dramatic!, Life Uncut and fashion designer, Camilla Franks.

We shared the article on Instagram and the comments section was quickly flooded with impassioned thoughts, feelings and opinions.

I’ve spotted several claims in our comments section that Camilla Franks had blocked the word ‘disabled’ from being commented on her Instagram after copping backlash from the community over her response to the Australian Fashion Week incident.Camilla Has Been Accused Of Banning The Word ‘Disabled’ From Her IG & Blocking Disabled Folks
Camilla Has Been Accused Of Banning The Word ‘Disabled’ From Her IG & Blocking Disabled Folks

Melbourne content creator Keely, who is chronically ill and disabled, shared screenshots from where she’d tried to comment “disabled” on Camilla Franks’ Instagram account but the comments wouldn’t post as the word had been blocked.

She’s also one of several disabled people who say they’ve been blocked by the Camilla Instagram account for calling them out.

Camilla Has Been Accused Of Banning The Word ‘Disabled’ From Her IG & Blocking Disabled Folks
Camilla Has Been Accused Of Banning The Word ‘Disabled’ From Her IG & Blocking Disabled Folks

Speaking to PEDESTRIAN.TV, Keely said: “I tried to comment multiple times, all with the word ‘disabled’, but I think they changed it as comments were restored a few minutes later, but I still had trouble commenting.

“Camilla and team also use ‘all abilities’, rather than disabled, which just adds to stigma, so blocking that word and realising that I would have to change the way I speak about myself, just to maybe get a comment to go through, was uncomfortable for me.”

Keely went on to discuss being blocked from multiple accounts by the Camilla Instagram.

“The first time was because I told her to do better and to listen to us, under her comment on the So Dramatic! post,” she recounted.

“The second time was on another account, because I commented on the post where Camilla is promoting the podcast, in which I said they still aren’t listening and that promoting the Life Uncut podcast is the cherry on top of Disability Pride Month, and that they should be listening to us to work on their ableism and inaccessibility. I was blocked again after that.”

She added, “I used my third account to try and get something, and to back up fellow disabled people to see that there was almost no comments from disabled people after my blocking, there was just Lisa [Cox’s] voice. One disabled voice doesn’t speak for us all, and I worry that not listening to us isn’t productive in disability, they need diversity. Only allowing that one voice that was saying what Camilla wanted to hear isn’t good enough.”

Activist and writer Carly Findlay, who was the first to notice that the word ‘disabled’ had been blocked by Camilla Franks, revealed on Instagram that the issue had been fixed after she had a DM convo with the designer (or at least her marketing team).

I spoke to Carly this morning and she confirmed that “comments were restored on Camilla’s post after I talked to her.”

Camilla Has Been Accused Of Banning The Word ‘Disabled’ From Her IG & Blocking Disabled Folks

“They’re saying now that they’re listening, there are many more comments from disabled people, but they are also tone policing,” Keely added.

“We are rightfully angry and I don’t agree that we should tone it down, just so they will listen and not block us. Seeing comments from people who are also upset about this, we aren’t being mean or bullying, we are upset, especially if our comments get deleted, we have been stating facts all along, and our comments are deleted or we are blocked if they aren’t what Camilla likes.

“I don’t disagree that there would be hateful comments, but the disabled community are mad and are growing more mad because this has just been dragging on for so long, and has become way bigger than necessary.”

She says she’s “growing tired of it all, I feel really exhausted by this, but I know that us backing down and being quiet is what people want with these things, but it has also just taken away from the bigger picture, which we just want some accountability for, and we just want them to listen to a wider range of disabled voices, not just one.”

Speaking to PEDESTRIAN.TV, Camilla’s team issued the following statement: “We blocked some accounts initially to maintain our community standards of tone and language, or to delete posts that identified people, used offensive accusations towards us or other followers.

“It’s ok to disagree with and criticise us, respectfully, and we’re listening. We certainly didn’t (and wouldn’t know how to) delete words from being posted on our feed. But we are seeing some double posts and some not appearing so can understand if there’s frustrations.”

They added, “We can assure you, Camilla’s values are authentic and the only troll she’s been referring to is a podcaster that has targeted her a number of times – not people with disabilities. Ours is not the important voice on this issue so we’ve stayed off your thread. It’s the people that are affected by accessibility and disability every day that need to be heard.”

Carly Findlay left another poignant comment that I’d like to close out this article with:

“This whole drama has detracted from the issue of a lack of accessibility and inclusion for disabled people – not just at Australian Fashion Week but in every aspect of society and industry.”

Head here to read the full explainer.