As is usually the case when people and groups make a lot of noise over a film's perceived offensiveness, I suspect all the ruckus over a planned boycott of Tropic Thunder over its perceived treatment of people with mental disabilities has only served to give it additional publicity. Nonetheless, organizations such as The Arc are going ahead with plans to call for a boycott of the film. Slate has found the organization's instruction sheet for putting together protests of Tropic Thunder, a six-page bulletin suggesting techniques and talking points for mentally disabled self-advocates and supporters. Sample talking point: "Movies and media, like the movie Tropic Thunder, encourage disrespect of people with intellectual disabilities. We want that to stop!"

The whole thing is an interesting read. Ordinarily I'd say they haven't seen the film, but the organization claims that its leaders have had a chance to watch it and have concluded that "the film's depiction of people with intellectual disabilities is derogatory and demeaning." In that case, they've missed the point spectacularly. As others have argued, the film targets not the mentally disabled but Hollywood's infantile treatment of same. Simple Jack is a clever, incisive parody. And I say that as someone who thinks Tropic Thunder as a whole is pretty weak.
categories Cinematical