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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Request Please

My request is a simple one: Please don't go see the movie Tropic Thunder. It's highly offensive to those with intellectual/mental/cognitive delays/disabilities. The "R" word is used numerous times throughout the movie; and a tagline that was on a poster said this "Once Upon A Time...There Was a R*tard" - is that not outrageous or what? How could everyone involved with that movie and marketing think THAT was ok to use for a tagline? Or the new catchphrase coined from this movie "never go full r*tard" - just awful. (Some) Teens will see this movie and laugh and think it's ok to use those phrases and once again people like my daughter will be the butt of the joke; and it's just not ok, it's just not.

Edited to add: To the two anon teen commenters - thanks for your comments and I'm glad to read neither of you find that type of 'humor' funny. You're right that one group, ie teens, shouldn't all be lumped together; I didn't actually write "ALL teens", just "teens" but I do see how that could be misleading into thinking I meant to include "all teens." I certainly didn't mean it that way and I'm sorry it came across that way. I understand this movie is targeted to teens and unfortunately a lot of teens/young adults will find it funny, but I'm glad not all of them will.

This is taken from Patricia Bauer's Just The Facts post Studio executives have said the film is a comic satire intended to josh actors and the entertainment industry, not people with disabilities. They say the film plays broadly for laughs, offers equal offense to all groups, and is intended only as entertainment without a deeper subtext.

They say the film offers equal offense to all groups, but in Ms Bauer's advanced screening she noted at least 16 references to the word r*tard or any variation in one scene alone (that would be the "never go full r*tard" scene.) The "N" word was used once, and no words for other racial/ethnic/sexual epithets were noted - so how is that equal offense to all groups?

Several disability groups are planning a nationwide boycott of this movie.

You can read this article by Special Olympics Chairmen Timothy Shriver who is also planning to boycott the movie.

Read Tammy's post on 5 Minutes For Mom.

and please don't waste your money on this movie.


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31 comments:

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Ugh! Consider it boycotted by me and my family.

~Melissa~ said...

It's a hard post to have to write. Good job Michelle.

Ava's Grandma Kim said...

Oh. My. God. Check out the reader comments posted re: Mr. Shriver's editorial. Somehow I expected better from Washington Post readers. Anonymity is a dangerous thing.

I have to agree with your post, Michelle. I am not hypersensitive about words, usually, but the diaglogue in that movie is too much.

Ava's Grandma Kim said...

Oops! I meant "dialogue", not glub glub glub. Brain fog.

Tina said...

No worries! It's disgusting and I *hate* that word! Hate it!

We won't be seeing the movie!

Mom24 said...

I wouldn't see it anyway, so I don't know how much good it will do, but I will spread the word to the teens I know. Yuck. How could that be considered funny?

Corey~living and loving said...

Thanks for the heads up. I'll be staying away.

Omaha Mama said...

Got it. And no, I won't see this movie. I'm disappointed that Ben Stiller is okay with this, I've always enjoyed his way out there sense of humor.

The 'r' word is a biggie for me. I can't stand its' use and once bopped my nephew on the head for using it. Everyone in my family knows that's a hot button issue for me.

Heather said...

I haven't even heard of this one but you can consider it done! We don't want to give money to anything like this.

Dana a/k/a Sunshine said...

We won't be seeing it either Michelle. I need to post something about this....I'll try to work time in to do it.

Amy said...

Thanks. I hadn't heard about the film. I'm checking the links now.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I read about this yesterday and it just made me ill. That kind of movie isn't my humor, so I probably wouldn't have seen it anyway, but I'll be sure to pass the word on.
Hollywood has no shame. And the media is just as bad. It really makes me mad.

Killlashandra said...

I just read about this on Melody's blog. Appalling. Worth boycotting. I've seen the commercials on tv but never gleaned the movie was going to be this offensive. I just thought the standard slap stick humor, which I don't find humorous anyway. But which a lot of teenagers do. Who will see this movie. Who will become further desensitized toward people with any handicaps. Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Take it from a teenager- I don't think its funny. And I don't think its fair you said that Teenagers will see this movie and laugh and think its okay to use those phrases, because I don't think its okay to use that word. Not all teenagers alike.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to agree with the above commenter. Don't get me wrong; I love your blog and I HATE that word. But for the record I'm also a teenager but I am a good person, but many would assume otherwise, only because of my age.

No offense intended in ANY way, just my two cents. I do think the movie is wrong, and immature, and just plain mean.

chelle said...

I too am disappointed in Ben Stiller. I always have enjoyed him but this is pushing it way too far. Not funny. We will not be seeing it.

Karen said...

I have a post in drafts about this to go up Friday. I cannot believe Hollywood crossed this line.

Sue said...

That is so sad. And SO inappropriate for kids to see. But unfortunately it doesn't surprise me. Even if I went to the movies, I woulnd't be seeing that one.

Sandra said...

Well I'm definitely not watching it, I'm really disgusted with the whole movie and especially those horrible phrases. Some people have no shame!

A Life Full of Love said...

Glad you gave me the heads up on this movie. Will not be wasting my time seeing it!! And I will gladly share that info with my friends. My uncle has Down's syndrome and my husband's first cousin, and if anyone called them that..... well, I wont even go into what I would do ;-)!

www.melodyanddoug.blogspot.com

Jeanette said...

There is a lot of dialogue going around the Down Syndrome community here in Central Texas. It has been blasted around our yahoo DS community, so the word is out with the families in our area. Word of mouth is spreading like wildfire. I totally agree that this movie has the potential to make the "r-word" a new phrase put on the lips of people. What a shame. I am dissapointed that there hasn't been a statement made by any of the actors stating that they are ashamed of the scripts. Ugh!

Overwhelmed! said...

You've got it. I will make it a point NOT to see this movie and I'll advise my family and friends to do the same.

Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

Great job Michelle! I hope this movie bombs!

Bonita said...

Thanks for the heads up. The movie sounds like Trash with a capital T and I'm glad to boycott it.

The sad part is that while it may entertain a "teen" audience, it was produced by adults! I think, though, they may end up surprised at how distasteful it is to a lot of people, regardless of age. Some may find it funny, but I think a lot of people are more sensitive and mature than they are thinking they are. Hope it flops!

Tracey said...

Hadn't considered it anyway. I heard about their marketing signs with the offensive words on them and was shocked, to say the least. They wouldn't put a derrogatory word about races on shirts for a movie, so why target any group of people?

The Girls' Mommy said...

We are boycotting with you! And we also signed up with Special Olympics to pledge to never use the "r" word (like we ever would anyway...) Go to http://www.r-word.org/ to pledge.

Lianna said...

A few weeks ago, I saw the television ad, and of course, it was edited. It wasn't until I received an email from our local chapter for Ds about the details of the movie. It makes me sick to think that I thought the TV ad was funny.

I won't be seeing this movie, and I highly doubt that I will venture into any other movies made by Stiller, Black, etc.

David said...

I wrote about this also, Michelle. Hopefully our voices will be heard.
I just found a beautiful video made by ARC of Virginia that I think you would like. It's on my most recent post - http://growingupwithadisability.blogspot.com/2008/08/people-with-intellectual-disabilities.html

Tammy and Parker said...

*smooch*

Sally said...

Thanks for the heads up. Everyone in my family know exactly how I feel about the "r" word. I find more adults than teenagers use the word, ignorant; that's all I can think.

Anonymous said...

De-lurking to say: Excuse me?!
"equal offense to all groups"
Sickening and very, very sad. ~annie