Thursday, August 14, 2008

Using the "R" word for humor

My soap box today is regarding a new movie coming out soon. See below:

(This is from the website of the Special Olympics)


Dear Friend,

Normally our "Breaking News" is used to inform you of wonderful developments in our organization. But today is different.

This week, "Tropic Thunder," a DreamWorks production starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and several other Hollywood actors, will open in movie theaters nationwide.

"Tropic Thunder" has been marketed as a satire about Hollywood actors and the movie industry in general. It is intended to be an adult comedy - with crass jokes and scenes to make moviegoers laugh.

We here at Special Olympics are not laughing.

In "Tropic Thunder," there is a movie-within-the movie called "Simple Jack...Once upon a time there was a retard" where Ben Stiller plays a simple man with intellectual disability. Both "Tropic Thunder" and "Simple Jack" contain extremely offensive material promoting the idea that a "retard" is funny. This theme runs throughout the film and occurs on numerous occasions.

While we are offended that the movie contains this hurtful material, we also see the release of "Tropic Thunder" as a rare opportunity to address the much needed abuse of the "R-word" in society. Special Olympics has decided to lead an effort to publicly address this language and the negative attitudes and behaviors associated with the use of the pejorative "retard."

The R-word is dehumanizing and demeaning to the 200 million people around the world who have intellectual disabilities. Hollywood and "Tropic Thunder" use and abuse the R-word, encouraging behavior that continues to demean a portion of our population who already face many challenges.

We are therefore encouraging a national boycott of "Tropic Thunder" and asking people to be fans of dignity by not seeing this film.

If we can hurt the ticket sales, we will have made a statement to Hollywood that we will not stand for this brand of malicious content.

For full details on this issue, daily updates on the boycott efforts, and 12 things you can do to support this boycott and bring an end to the use of the "R-word," visit our website now!

Thank you for being a fan of Special Olympics and human dignity,

Monty Castevens
President/CEO
Special Olympics Florida

ACT NOW!
Pledge to not use the "R word"

Go to our website now for more info and daily updates

Watch the "R-word" video on-line

****I know that PW uses that term when she talks about her brother. That is her brother and she is speaking only about him. If that is a "term of endearment" within her family & Mike is fine with it, I can't falt her for using it. I don't think she means it as a "bad word" about persons with a disability.

I'm sharing this information for you to read and make your own choice.

Stepping down now.

Til later..........


1 comment:

Jenn(ifer) said...

While I won't be boycotting the movie, I do not condone the use of this word in anyway. I do not say it,I won't allow my kids to say it & I don't jokingly say it. I know people that do, and I hate it. As far as the movie goes, I think people are becoming more and more open to using certain politically incorrect terms as a way to be funny. For example, I hear people say, "That's so gay!" all the time. I don't say that, and I wouldn't allow my kids to, but I know people that think its alright. Wouldn't that offend the gay community in some way? I guess my point is, I can understand why the people at the Special Olympics would be so upset, however; I doubt the people in the movie were intentionally trying to offend Special Needs people as a whole. I think that the character in the movie will show to be ignorant in their use of words, just as people in real life are ignorant to their choice of words. And while we're on this subject, I don't understand why its ok for people to use the terms themselves, but get offended with others use it. (Black people can use the "n" word but see red if any other ethnicity uses it. Another word I do NOT use & don't allow to be used!) Anyway... I will shut up now.. just wanted to input my thoughts on this subject. ((I like posts like this))