Monday, August 18, 2008


If anyone out there was wondering -- and I'm sure many of you were wringing your hands in wonderment -- where, in my new capacity as chairman of the WGA's Writers With Disabilities Committee, I stood on the burning question of the use of the word "retard" in the new Ben Stiller comedy, here's a statement that was not sanctioned by either the committee or the WGA, cuz they don't take sides between guild members:

"No one understands the power of words better than writers. When Tony Soprano peppers his language with f**k, it’s a form of intimidation. When someone says “nigger” or “kike” or “spic,” it’s a form of hate. The same applies to the word, “retard,” perhaps the most damaging reference to the disabled in current usage. When the writers of “Tropic Thunder” think it’s cute to use “retard” in their farce, it’s not funny. It’s mindless and offensive.

I personally join with the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and others in pointing out this egregious lapse of common decency and urging the public to find another movie to see this weekend."


Blogger Becs said...

Hate to say, but it seems like "Tropic Thunder" was picked to be picked on because it would likely draw a good box office and therefore more attention to the protest. That's just smart campaigning, but I've lost count of the movies and TV shows I've heard "retard" bounced around on.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Allen said...

You're probably right. The protest did cause some headaches for the studio who made the movie, so that alone could make the word suspect in future scripts.

Or not.


9:42 AM  

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