2008.08.13: August 13, 2008: Headlines: Directors - Shriver: Figures: Special Olympics: Disabilities: Movies: Speaking Out: CNN: Tim Shriver writes: Why 'Tropic Thunder' shouldn't be seen

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver: Sargent Shriver: Newest Stories: 2008.08.13: August 13, 2008: Headlines: Directors - Shriver: Figures: Special Olympics: Disabilities: Movies: Speaking Out: CNN: Tim Shriver writes: Why 'Tropic Thunder' shouldn't be seen

By Admin1 (admin) (70.135.11.140) on Friday, August 22, 2008 - 10:36 am: Edit Post

Tim Shriver writes: Why 'Tropic Thunder' shouldn't be seen

Tim Shriver writes: Why 'Tropic Thunder' shouldn't be seen

Together with the members of the international coalition, I am asking Steven Spielberg, Stacey Snider, Ben Stiller and the entire "Tropic Thunder" team to stop showing the film, and asking movie theaters and moviegoers to shut this movie out. "Tropic Thunder" is a colossal blunder. Don't show or see "Tropic Thunder." The degrading use of the word "retard" together with the broader humiliation of people with intellectual disabilities in the film goes way too far. When the R-word is casually bandied about and when bumbling, clueless caricatures designed to mimic the behavior of people with intellectual disabilities are on screen, they have an unmistakable outcome: They mock, directly or indirectly, people with intellectual disabilities. They perpetuate the worst stereotypes. They further exclusion and isolation. They are simply mean. Mockery in any form, or for any purpose or directed at anyone, especially those least able to defend themselves, is neither funny nor acceptable. We must work together to bring it to an end. As chairman of the Special Olympics, I am inspired to be as vocal as possible about this important matter to effect positive change and to generate support for those who deserve our respect.

Tim Shriver writes: Why 'Tropic Thunder' shouldn't be seen

Commentary: Why 'Tropic Thunder' shouldn't be seen

By Timothy Shriver
Special to CNN


Editor's Note: Timothy Shriver, the chairman of Special Olympics for the past 11 years, co-produced the 1997 DreamWorks Studios movie "Amistad." His mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of Sen. Ted Kennedy, founded Special Olympics and his father, Sargent Shriver, served as president. Tim's sister Maria, the wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a Special Olympics board member.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- I am so proud of everyone who turned out to Monday's premiere of the film "Tropic Thunder" to protest its unfortunate and humiliating portrayal of people with intellectual disabilities.

Prior to the premiere, I joined a large coalition of individuals and organizations to engage in discussions with DreamWorks Studios CEO Stacey Snider and others from the studio to express our concern over the film's "Simple Jack" subplot and the slogans, "Once upon a time there was a retard," and "Never go full retard."

Members of the Coalition of National Disability Organizations -- disabled advocates and family members of people with intellectual disabilities -- have seen the movie and reported shock and disgust. Their reactions have resonated with many of us who take their cause and their voice with the utmost seriousness.

While I am disappointed that we were not consulted in the same manner as other minority groups depicted in the film and that there are 17 mentions of the "R-word" with one mention of the "N-word," I am grateful to Ms. Snider for listening to the coalition and for taking steps to eliminate some of the film's most offensive marketing elements.

I am also appreciative of her commitment to working in the future for an end to denigrating speech and hurtful portrayals of people with intellectual disabilities in film and in society. DreamWorks and its leaders have a powerful reputation for advancing socially and politically important issues.

In particular, Steven Spielberg has been a generous supporter of the work of Special Olympics, for which I am deeply grateful. I look forward to counting the hopes and dreams of 200 million people with intellectual disabilities among the causes of this formidable group of creative and artistic leaders.

Now, however, is the time to raise our voices against "Tropic Thunder" and the harm it is sure to visit on people with intellectual disabilities.

Together with the members of the international coalition, I am asking Steven Spielberg, Stacey Snider, Ben Stiller and the entire "Tropic Thunder" team to stop showing the film, and asking movie theaters and moviegoers to shut this movie out. "Tropic Thunder" is a colossal blunder. Don't show or see "Tropic Thunder."

The degrading use of the word "retard" together with the broader humiliation of people with intellectual disabilities in the film goes way too far. When the R-word is casually bandied about and when bumbling, clueless caricatures designed to mimic the behavior of people with intellectual disabilities are on screen, they have an unmistakable outcome: They mock, directly or indirectly, people with intellectual disabilities. They perpetuate the worst stereotypes. They further exclusion and isolation. They are simply mean.

Mockery in any form, or for any purpose or directed at anyone, especially those least able to defend themselves, is neither funny nor acceptable. We must work together to bring it to an end. As chairman of the Special Olympics, I am inspired to be as vocal as possible about this important matter to effect positive change and to generate support for those who deserve our respect.

Name-calling is a subtle but malicious practice that only serves to perpetuate stigma, fear, intolerance and more. iReport.com: Share your thoughts on 'Tropic Thunder'

Ridicule is a subtle but malicious practice that only serves to exclude and marginalize people with intellectual disabilities. Stop "Tropic Thunder."

People with intellectual disabilities can be great athletes, productive employees, positive friends, courageous role models. Let's open our schools, doctors offices, businesses, communities, and most importantly, our hearts to the giftedness of every human being. No more exceptions. No more exclusion.

Some may think we ought to lighten up and not get so worked up because this is, after all, just a film. But films become part of pop culture and character lines are repeated in other settings time and time again. It's clear to me that lines from this particular film will provide hurtful ammunition outside the movie theatre. While I realize that the film's creators call this a parody and they never intended to hurt anyone, it doesn't mean those words won't.

How can you help? Ban the R-word. Ban the movie. Take a stand.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: August, 2008; Sargent Shriver (Director 1961 - 1966); Figures; Special Olympics; Disabilities; Movies; Speaking Out





When this story was posted in August 2008, this was on the front page of PCOL:




Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed
PCVs Evacuated from Georgia Date: August 19 2008 No: 1254 PCVs Evacuated from Georgia
The Peace Corps has announced that all Volunteers and trainees serving in the Republic of Georgia are safe and they have been temporarily relocated to neighboring Armenia. Read the analysis by one RPCV on how Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili believed that he could launch a lightning assault on South Ossetia and reclaim the republic without substantial grief from Moscow and that Saakashvili's statements once the war began demonstrated that he expected real Western help in confronting Russia.


 Contact PCOL Search PCOL with Google Site Index Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register
Dodd vows to filibuster Surveillance Act Date: October 27 2007 No: 1206 Dodd vows to filibuster Surveillance Act
Senator Chris Dodd vowed to filibuster the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that would grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that helped this administration violate the civil liberties of Americans. "It is time to say: No more. No more trampling on our Constitution. No more excusing those who violate the rule of law. These are fundamental, basic, eternal principles. They have been around, some of them, for as long as the Magna Carta. They are enduring. What they are not is temporary. And what we do not do in a time where our country is at risk is abandon them."

August 6, 2008: This Month's Top Stories Date: August 6 2008 No: 1250 August 6, 2008: This Month's Top Stories
PC in Budget Crunch may cut PCVs by 5% 5 Aug
Garamendi first to announce run for governor in 2010 2 Aug
Bob and Pat Parish receive presidentís award 31 Jul
Sam Brownback removes block on Kathleen Stephens 31 Jul
Peace Corps Removes Ban on HIV-Positive Volunteers 31 Jul
RPCVs organize online for Obama 31 Jul
Peace group awards perfect rating to Sam Farr 29 Jul
How Hill used back channels to negotiate Korean agreement 27 Jul
Voter surge may hurt Shays 26 Jul
Matthew A. Hamilton writes: A Shadow on Ararat 25 Jul
Gates says Tools of inspiration are indispensable 15 Jul
An interview with Composer Gabriela Lena Frank 13 Jul
Ginny Farmer to swim in Olympics for American Samoa 11 Jul
Dodd is possible vice presidential candidate 11 Jul
Carl Pope supports the Pickens Plan 8 Jul
George Packer writes: Obamaís Iraq Problem 7 Jul
An Interview with PCOL 4 Jul
Ifugao hopes for tourism boost after Campbell Trial 3 Jul
Peace Corps To Quit Kiribati 3 Jul
Tony Hall asks: Where is moral outrage over food crisis? 3 Jul
Wofford raises awareness about global poverty 2 Jul

New: More Stories from June and July 2008

July 1, 2008: This Month's Top Stories Date: July 16 2008 No: 1245 July 1, 2008: This Month's Top Stories
Sarah Chayes continues work in Kandahar 29 Jun
PCV Catherine Saltwick killed in Automobile Accident 2 Jun
Richard Stoll returns to Tonga for capitolís rebuild 2 Jun
Peace Corps Reopens Program in Liberia 4 Jun
Tu Dang is a Foreign Affairs Officer 4 Jun
Bethany Hedt takes aim at AIDS with statistics 5 Jun
Expanding opportunities for deaf PCVs 5 Jun
Peace Corps/Kenya Program Reopening 6 Jun
Josť Klein is plate artist 9 Jun
Kenyan Prime Minister Visits PC Headquarters 19 Jun
Michael Meyer's writes "The Last Days of Old Beijing" 20 Jun
Chuck Ludlam writes: Congress Enacts PCV Tax Law 24 Jun
Dodd Speaks in Opposition to FISA Bill 24 Jun
Christopher Hill critical to success in Korea Talks 25 Jun
Mark Gearan writes: Hillary Clinton's Contribution 25 Jun
James Rupert writes: Pakistan Fights Taliban 27 Jun
Elaine Chao hails U.S.-China dialogue 28 Jun
Obituary for Bud Keith - Champion for Disabled 29 Jun
Life in prison for killer of PCV Julia Campbell 30 Jun
John Coyne writes: PC Archives at JFK Library 30 Jun
Mark Shriver to Chair National Commission on Children 30 Jun

New: More Stories from May and June 2008

June 1, 2008: This Month's Top Stories Date: July 16 2008 No: 1247 June 1, 2008: This Month's Top Stories
Senator ties up Kathleen Stephens appointment 1 May
Philip Dacey writes "The New York Postcard Sonnets" 31 May
Sophia Polasky writes: Luncheon with the president 30 May
Arnold Wendroff warns dangers of ritual use of mercury 30 May
Lynn Lurie writes ďCorner of the Dead" 29 May
Obama Urges Grads To Serve Country 26 May
Nick Mucha promotes development at surf destinations 25 May
Don Crosby and wife serve in Thailand at 70 23 May
Matthew Handley pursued case of 12 murdered Nepalis 22 May
Zig and Irma Sokolnicki receive President's Award 21 May
Bruce Sterling writes: Steve Cisler RIP 20 May
Colorado to host Peace Corps Reunion in August 19 May
Hugh Pickens writes: Death Be Not Proud 17 May
Zachery Scott writes: Being a gay volunteer 14 May
PCVs in China Are Safe after earthquake 12 May
Louis Adams relives PC days in Morocco 12 May
Jemison say US leaders have made foolish decisions 11 May
Amy Smith's low-tech inventions have high impact 8 May
Bill Moyers on the 2008 Elections 8 May
Don Odermann creates Education Fund for Latin Players 5 May
Peter Hessler wins National Magazine Award 2 May

New: More Stories from April and May 2008



Read the stories and leave your comments.








Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: CNN

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Directors - Shriver; Figures; Special Olympics; Disabilities; Movies; Speaking Out

PCOL42038
10


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: