U.S. disability advocates kept their promise and staged a protest at the premiere of BEN STILLER’s latest movie TROPIC THUNDER.
The film, which also stars Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr., has been slammed by 22 disability groups in the U.S. for its repeated use of the word “retard” in association with one of its main characters Simple Jack.
And demonstrators showed their distaste for the movie by picketing the Mann Village Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday night (11Aug08) insisting the film “humiliates people with intellectual disabilities”. Stiller, Black and Downey Jr. walked the red carpet amid shouts from angry protestors who were waving placards urging cinema goers to boycott the movie.
Despite the negative reactions to the picture, studio bosses have denied it is offensive towards people who suffer from mental disabilities.
A protestor at the event tells the BBC, “We feel that the use of the word ‘retard’ throughout the film 15 or more times is done without any regard for the dignity of people with intellectual disabilities.”
But Downey Jr. took time out on the red carpet to defend the film, telling reporters he was glad people had decided to picket the premiere as it was their right as free citizens.
He says “That’s the great thing, you know, if I want to protest something because it offends me that’s my right as an American and it’s also any artist’s right to say and do whatever they want to do.”