Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tropic Thunder (new movie w/Ben Stiller)

Share Your Opinion with DreamWorks Studios

A new film, `Tropic Thunder' is set to release on August 13th. This film is a big-budget, R-rated comedy by DreamWorks/Paramount that includes prominent use of the word "retard" in marketing materials and on screen. A coalition of disability rights groups (including NDSS) will be meeting Wednesday with studio executives from DreamWorks to express concern. More information will follow.

Pat Bauer of is asking that people go to her website and send in comments about the upcoming movie.

Central to the debate is the character of Simple Jack, played by Ben Stiller's character, an actor, in the movie. Studio marketing materials describe Simple Jack as "a retard." Studio executives have said the film is intended to spoof Hollywood, not people with disabilities.

(See below: marketing image featuring Stiller as Simple Jack with the slogan "Once upon a time ... There was a retard.)

To comment, go to the following link:
All comments will be forwarded to executives at DreamWorks/Paramount.


DreamWorks logs off 'Simple' site
'Tropic Thunder' promo pulled after complaints

DreamWorks has put the kibosh on -- a website aimed at promoting the studio's upcoming comedy "Tropic Thunder" -- in response to criticism from disability rights advocates.

The elaborate site was created by the marketing department of Paramount Pictures, which releases all of DreamWorks' films, as an homage to a character played by Ben Stiller's Oscar-chasing actor character. In the film, which opens Aug. 13, Stiller plays a thesp best known for his performance in a fictitious drama titled "Simple Jack" -- a satirical jab at Hollywood actors' proclivity for taking on mentally challenged characters.

The site, which was aimed at teenage boys and garnered fewer than 35,000 hits, featured a poster with Stiller and the tagline "Once upon a time ... there was a retard."

A consortium of groups including the Special Olympics and the Down Syndrome Assn. of
Los Angeles first contacted the studio Friday and set up a meeting with DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider and other senior executives to discuss their concerns about the film. That meeting is scheduled to take place this afternoon .

DreamWorks decided to pull the plug on the site Monday night as a preemptive move.

"We heard their concerns, and we understand that taken out of context, the site appeared to be insensitive to people with disabilities," DreamWorks spokesman Chip Sullivan said.

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