Advocates for Disabled Protest Tropic Thunder

Protests, boycott planned over depiction of mentally disabled
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2008 4:33 AM CDT
Advocates for Disabled Protest Tropic Thunder
Advocates for the mentally disabled are protesting "Tropic Thunder" for its portrayal of "Simple Jack."   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Merie Weismiller Wallace)

(Newser) – Advocates for the mentally disabled are calling for a national boycott of Tropic Thunder, Reuters reports. The film features a character named Simple Jack, played by Ben Stiller, who is repeatedly called a “retard” in the film. "We are asking people not to go to the movie and hope to bring a consciousness to people about using derogatory words about this population," said a spokesman for the Special Olympics.

A number of groups also plan to picket the film's premiere Wednesday. DreamWorks has refused to edit the film as demanded by some advocates. Tropic Thunder "satirizes Hollywood and its excesses, and makes its point by featuring inappropriate and over-the top characters in ridiculous situations," said a studio spokesman. "The film is in no way meant to disparage or harm the image of individuals with disabilities." (Read more Tropic Thunder stories.)

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