"Not only might it happen, it will happen." Timothy P. Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics, told The New York Times that he and representatives of his group and others will picket the opening of Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Reportedly, more than a dozen disabilities groups, including the National Down Syndrome Congress and the American Association of People with Disabilities, made plans over the weekend to start protesting on Monday.
Dreamworks already pulled down a promotional web site that was considered offensive a few days ago, as William Goss reported, and has altered some television advertising, but that's as far as they're going. A spokesman told the NYT : "No changes or cuts to the film will be made." Both Stiller and Dreamworks exec Stacy Snider insist they are not targeting the disabled, but the foolish ambition of certain actors. Shriver told the NYT he's asking members of Congress "for a resolution condemning what he called 'hate speech' in the movie." The film's repeated use of the term "retard" is "a particular sore point."
For personal reasons, I have a strong distaste for calling someone who's intellectually disabled a "retard" -- I think it's hateful and insensitive -- but I don't feel that a Congressional resolution or a boycot will do anything more than anger and harden the hearts of the very people who might rethink their vocabulary. To be fair, I haven't seen the movie, but Shriver and other protestors have.
If it happens, will you support the boycott? Or do you think this is another case of "political correctness" gone too far?