Call to ban Stiller's comedy

Film upsets the mentally disabled

Campaigners are calling for a boycott of Ben Stiller's latest comedy movie Tropic Thunder because it uses ‘retard’ as a joke insult.

Mental disability groups plan to stage protests outside cinemas showing the film, as well as the LA premiere.

Tropic Thunder is about a group of actors who find themselves in a real war zone. Stiller's character, Tugg Speedman, is constantly called a retard as he once played a mentally challenged role in a bid to win an Oscar.

Special Olympics spokesman Peter Wheeler told E! News: ‘Ideally, we'd like the movie not to be shown. If they don't pull it out of theatres, we’d like for people to hear what we're upset about, to not go and see the film and boycott screenings.’

Andy Imparto, of the American Association of Disabled Persons, said: ‘It's an offensive film on a lot of levels.

‘I understand the studio, director and writers were trying to be over-the-top, but in doing so around the use of the word retard, they really crossed the line. My biggest fear is high school boys will see this thing and think its cool to use this word and play with it the way it's played with in the movie.’

Producers DreamWorks released a statement saying Tropic Thunder in no way aimed to mock mentally disabled people, noting the plot's reliance on ‘over-the-top characters in ridiculous situations’.

It added: ‘No changes or cuts to the film will be made.’

Stiller also directed Tropic Thunder, which also stars Jack Black, Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan and Robert Downey Jr.

Published: 12 Aug 2008

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