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Protesting Tropic Thunder

| Filed under: Film Flickers


Several groups that advocate for the disabled are calling for a boycott of the new film Tropic Thunder, starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Tom Cruise and Robert Downey, Jr.

The groups state that the movie is depicting a negative portrayal of those with "intellectual disabilities."

The flick is directed by Stiller and is set to be released this Wednesday.

There are currently 22 disability groups protesting the movie's satire.

Many of the groups also plan to protest the movie's premier today in Los Angeles.

Peter Wheeler, a spokesman for the Special Olympics, says "We are asking people not to go to the movie and hope to bring a consciousness to people about using derogatory words about this population. That will be the start of a nationwide protest. We will continue to be vocal about the destructive effect of this film."

Wheeler says the groups are particularly offended by the repeated use of the word "retard" in regards to a subplot character that Stiller plays called Simple Jack.

Representatives from several groups such as the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Congress, and the American Association of People with Disabilities met last week with execs from Dreamworks to discuss the film, though no changes were made.

The groups presented various ideas to the studio, such as requesting an apology or fixing the film before its release, in order to produce a national education campaign.

A rep for Dreamworks says, "We have had productive discussions with representatives of disability advocacy organizations and look forward to working with them closely in the future. However no changes or cuts to the film will be made."

Adding that "Tropic Thunder is an R-rated comedy that satirizes Hollywood and its excesses, and makes its point by featuring inappropriate and over-the top characters in ridiculous situations. The film is in no way meant to disparage or harm the image of individuals with disabilities."


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123 comments to “Protesting Tropic Thunder

More comments: [1] 2 »

  1. 1

    I think he needs to hang it up and quit while he's only 2 movies behind….

  2. 2

    I adore this MENSCH!

  3. 3

    It's a MOVIE….we all know that film representations of people usually are not accurate. Why didn't they protest Dodgeball or the Ringer? Come on…Protest to hear yourself protest.

  4. 4

    If you don't like it, don't watch it. Political correctness is going to ruin every damn funny thing out there.

  5. 5

    I think he needs to hang it up and quit while he's only two movies behind….

  6. Sammy says – reply to this


    OMG Protest something that matters like the War!!! Retard it is just a word I am sure none of these guys meant it as a insult to people with Disabilities, it is a comady!!! The word Retard is used daily by everyone even people that have family members with disabilities. You guys need to take all the people with disabilities and take them to this movie and see if they don't laugh their asses off, it is a funny movie nothing more!!!!

  7. 7

    i think that if the use of a certain word bothers you then don't watch the movie or tv show etc. that uses it numerous times. other then that keep your blowhole closed and let everyone else enjoy whatever the fuck they want to watch. fucking retards

  8. 8

    give me a break. there always has to be someone protesting something. it's a fricken movie. i'm going to go see it! :)

  9. 9

    Geez…..It's only a movie!!!
    Lighten up people!!

  10. 10

    So stupid. I understand where they're coming from…but really, things like this are tiresome. I'm so sick of all these taboo words, and poliitcal correctness…honestly, it's not like they've made the movie to insult people with mental disabilities!! Don't they say 'retard' a bunch in Napoleon Dynamite?? Even if they don't I'm sure there's plenty of other movies that do. People need to get over it.

  11. 11

    I'm going to see it!!!

  12. 12


  13. 13

    [[[[[[[[[[[[ I luv♥ thiz guy/ and hiz whole family ]]]]]]]]]]]]]
    zzzzzzz he daddy should make more moviezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]] that fuk iz funny [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[◘◘]]

  14. 14

    Please people…give me a break. This is a Movie, a Satire, at that. People know it is meant to be funny and not to harm anyone. What is this world coming to really? Lets protest "Pineapple Express" because it wrongly depicts marijuana users as losers. Really, grow up!

  15. 15

    good luck with that, disability groups.

  16. 16


  17. 17

    I think "it's a movie lighten the fuck up!" :)

  18. Paty says – reply to this


    I will see it and judge for myself. But they have SO MUCH to protest….they hang on this???

  19. 19

    that sounds retarded

  20. betty says – reply to this


    doubt it

  21. Paty says – reply to this


    Re: JohnnyCade – Exactly.
    Couldn´t say it better myself.

  22. 22

    can't wait to see it! i love ben stiller, he is hilarious. these groups are being lame…get over it! people just need to hate on something…

  23. 23

    Political correctness will be the downfall of this country. We will all be forced to turn into automatons spouting the exact same monotonous crap for fear of insulting one group or another. The individuality we are guaranteed in our Bill of Rights is being thrown to the wayside. In our efforts to not alienate anyone we are alienating everyone and being laughed at around the world as a result. How pathetic.

  24. 24

    They certainly didn't have any problem with Johnny Knoxville's "The Ringer" where he made fun of mentally disabled people the ENTIRE MOVIE, THATS WHAT ITS ABOUT. Sounds to me they just want something to be mad about.

  25. 25

    I think that is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard, my uncle's disabled, and he would even love this movie. Do they really have nothing better to do they have to protest a stupid movie. I mean come on next thing you know they'll be protesting kung fu panda for cruelty to animals! :)

  26. 26

    Are we going to give up our First Ammendment right in order to be politically correct? Let's laugh at OURSELVES! We are all too fat, too thin, too tall, to short, too ugly, too stupid, too SOMETHING at SOME POINT IN OUR LIVES! Geez, let's just give ourselves a break and LAUGH!

  27. 27

    Dunno how bad it is cos I haven't seen the movie but on the one hand this culture of political correctness makes comedy more difficult and on the other hand it's hurtful to ridicule people because of their disabilities/religion/race and i'm glad society as a whole is more aware of that.

  28. 28

    puh-lease…..the extreme political correctness needs to stop. Relax people! And whoever heard of Intellectual disabilities??? does that mean stupid people?

  29. 29

    the whole world is turning Sissy!
    I am glad I had a chance to live in an interesting time in the US from'75 thru '85.
    The world is turning mad.

  30. 30

    Just another lame attempt for attention from watch dog groups.

  31. 31

    That's ridiculous. TT is a fantastic movie (I saw it at an early screening) that just makes fun of everything. These people need to get over themselves and learn to enjoy great humor!

  32. 32

    Here is some questions before they think this is the worst movie ever.

    Have these groups seen South Park?
    Have these groups seen Family guy?
    Have these groups EVER seen ANY comedy show made in the last 10 years?

    George Carlin just died this year. So they are a little too late to complain

    Because they utter the word retard that doesn't make it the worst movie. There are ENTIRE episodes dedicated to people with disabilites in the shows I mention. But guess what? I don't care. Nothing should be sacred. Everything should be laughable. Gays, aids, war, republicans, democrats, minorities, white people, people of color.

  33. 33

    It's a movie…..get over it…..seriously. My sister-in law has cancer, my mother-in-law has Alzheimers, and my neice is autistic. And do you think I've forgotton how to laugh? People are just too serious, TOO SERIOUS!!!

  34. 34

    I think people should get a grip and find their sense of humor. And if they are offended by it, don't go to see it. As for me, I am not that tightly wound, and have definite plans to see the movie!!!

  35. 35

    I'm a certified nutbag who has even done interviews with the media about being that way and I'm going to see Tropic Thunder. Aaaaand I'm Black too. Can't wait to see Robert Downey as a Black man!!

  36. 36

    I agree with all the anti-political correctness comments. This is f*ing ridiculous.

    And anyway, their negative attention will draw more people to the flick. Which is just what they don't want. Good for Stiller and his cast since Batman is currently consuming everyones movie dollars.

    Spread the love!

  37. momo3 says – reply to this


    UMMMMMM……… it's a freakin movie! I wont go see it cause gay tom cruise is in it. YUK!

  38. 38

    I wasn't going to watch this movie, anyway…since, I refuse to watch anything with Tom Cruise.
    In any case,…..the (abbreviated) definition of 'retard' is to postpone, delay, impede and hinder. It has nothing to do with 'intellectual disabilities'.

  39. Aimee says – reply to this


    I don't entirely understand this, because i don't know what the film's about. But if there's disabled people in the film, then surely they agreed to be in it, they knew what they were doing, and in the end it's their opinion on the film that counts.

  40. 40

    well too bad for the retards because im going! and shoot i have a dumb brother so there!

  41. 41

    What a great publicity thing! Don't "groups" know the more things are protested, the more Americans will go and see them? And I'm sure the mentally handicapped are not boycotting. Ignorance is bliss, no? All this Political Correctness is for the birds and we should be able to do/say whatever we want. After all, it's what this county was founded on. Vote Republican so the Dems don't continue to take away our freedom of speech. Obama is a tree-hugging hippie.

  42. 42

    Tom Cruise is in it……………..nobody will see it anyway.

  43. 43

    those retards are acting pretty retarded.
    sue me.

  44. adt says – reply to this


    People need to get the fuck over themselves and stop being so damn sensitive. It's just a fucking movie. Christ.

  45. 45

    I think people need to quit being so incredibly sensitive…if you don't like something, just don't go see it! Isn't that what makes our country great?

  46. 46

    It's insane how PC and double standard-ish the world is getting. Can a "retard" say "retard"? Why can a black man say "nigg–" but a white man can not? Why is it that if 10 years ago you called a gay man a queer it was quite normal (in fact most university papers and books in the 50-90s referenced homosexuals as queers and in England some people still do)

    The world needs to STOP it. Just… just STOP it. Personally I think if something offends you, don't watch it, don't listen to it and ignore it. Why set up protest groups and demand a studio retract a movie?

    There WILL be a point where people stop giving a damn what other people think, in retaliation for this OVER THE TOP politically correct horse-ass world we now live in.

    Here's a thought retards - quit being a bunch of queers.

  47. 47

    Read your history books, people… blackface is bullshit.

  48. 48

    I consider disabled people just like normal people! People make fun of Black people, of Blondes, of Belgian people… why not making fun of disabled people! Not of their disability but of them as people equal to the others!
    But I understand that there can be some fear that senseless people may take these jokes further and transform them until it can be outrageous!

  49. 49

    I think the point of the protest is that think how much it will hurt the people with the disabilities when they are told that they might not want to see a film, that they may have been excited to see, because they use words that people have used against them. You people are so closed minded. The word "retard" has been used to put people down that where born a certain way. The same way the n word has been used to put people down that were born a certain way. We are all unique and beautiful there is no reason we should use words that have a history of degrading people.

  50. 50

    Oh, They need to get over it. My 23 year old sister is mentally retarted and she can't wait to see this film. I work with mentally challenged individuals and they don't seem to notice one way or the other. If you think it is too much for you to hear-DON"T SEE THE FILM!!! I find porn offensive so I don't watch-PROBLEM SOLVED.

  51. 51

    I have been waiting for this damn movie for months and if that offends anybody out there, well, bite me. It's a freaking movie for crissake! If people want to protest, fine, don't see it, but don't tell me not to!

  52. 52

    Just Kidding- I LOVE PORN!!! I made my point though

  53. 53

    Fucking retards should retire to their rooms to eat their boogers. If we get so PC about everything, we will no longer be able to laugh. What about movies that depict whores in a negative matter? Exactly! No one cares. Quit being such babies! Jesus Christ!

  54. 54

    I have a disability and I'm not offended. Who cares. I mean what part of Slapstick Comedy= serious? People have WAY to much time on their hands!

  55. 55

    Um. . . this is fiction people

  56. 56

    Re: DIJordan – Mentally "retarded" honey has everything to do with it. The word says that their mental development has been "postponed, delayed, impeded or hindered" compared with the average individual. That was shortened to retard but again I say, don't watch it. Most mentally retarded individuals don't get the joke anyways.

  57. 57

    Re: lisa00789 – Exactly!!!!!!

  58. 58

    I think people need to develop a sense of humour and to not be so sensitive to the words other people use. The people that go see these movies don't leave brainwashed zombies, we know when something is meant purely for entertainment and when it's not. Protesting the movie won't do a thing, don't waste your time campaigning just don't contribute to the movies sales is all.

  59. 59

    this is stupid stupid stupid. if people are going to get all butt hurt
    they shouldnt go see the movie. c'mon people.
    grow up. its not that terrible.

  60. 60

    I think there are much more important things that people could be doing with their time.

  61. 61

    its a comedy. damn they got a guy in black face– get over it.

  62. 62

    Sooooo Retarded! Can't wait to see the movie!

  63. 63

    i think its a comedy, and it should be treated as such. ugh. i hate this hyper-sensitive society. get over it. im sure this movie DID NOT go out there JUST to offend a certain group of people.

  64. 64

    I think it's freakin non-sense. I mean come on, get real. The Ringer was a movie that used the "r-word" a lot and I don't reacll anyone protesting the use of it in that movie.
    P.S. JennaMeow is so correct - people being overly concerned with being politically correct are ruining this world! We shouldn't be afraid to make a dirty joke because Sue (who doesn't have to listen/watch, and has a choice in the matter) doesn't like it. Well screw you Sue!

  65. 65


    This movie looks hilarious; especially Robert Downy Jr.'s character.

  66. 66

    Take a chill Phill. I't a friggin movie eh!

  67. 67

    no offense but everybody is offended by something now-a-days…boo hoo, get over it

  68. 68

    i don't know. people need to lighten up. it's a comedy!

  69. 69

    Re: bango skanks – ha ha!

  70. 70

    I always assumed Ben Stiller himself was mentally disabled.
    Is he not just making fun of his own kind, then?

  71. BNice says – reply to this


    Peeps got to loosen up. Perhaps a new and better word can be used to reference people with intellectual disabilities. But then again…maybe the studios are the ones behind this ridiculousness in order to get some free press.

  72. 72

    i think people should boycott it because anything that supports tom cruise SUCKS

  73. 73

    Tom Cruise just keeps attracting bad karma in whatever he's in.

  74. 74

    Words only have as much power as you give them. These people need to get over it. It's not a personal attack on anyone with disabilities, I'm sure.

    It's all about the context and all about the intent.

  75. 75

    It is just a movie. I think the people/organizations that are protesting should put their time and effort into something that will make a difference. The movie is a parody!! I don't agree with people calling other people "retard." But I really don't agree with a group or organization pressuring the movie industry, a writer, public figure etc into changing their words. This is America–what's left of it anyway. Our society has become way too sensitive to people's words.
    Put all that energy somewhere that makes a difference…actions speak louder than words.
    Lastly just DON'T GO SEE THE MOVIE!!!!

  76. 76

    They should add in more "retards" just for this. I'm so tired of political correctness.

  77. 77

    i think the idea of people having to be politically correct is getting to the point of ridiculous. it will eventually come down to where people cant even tell blond jokes anymore!! and im a blond and dont even feel that that would be necessary. first of all the movie is rated R, so anyone who would be seeing the movie should be 18 and old enough to differentiate between comical humor and outright retard-bashing. second of all, if youre retarded, i doubt this is a movie thats gonna be on your list of saturday activities. im not saying go up to retarded kids and pick on them, but its a movie, its a comedy, its meant to be making fun of stuff. america needs to grow up and stop being a bunch of f*ck!ng wimps who cry about everything. LIFE AINT FAIR GET USED TO IT MFers!!

  78. 78

    …what ever happened to FREE SPEECH???? personal expression!

  79. 79

    It is called comedy, if we cannot laugh what can we do?
    I will be seeing this without a doubt!

  80. 80

    WTF?? Pretty soon all movies will be exactly alike if we allow these people to "boycott" such as this. Wouldn't we all just love life if we all lived in the same kind of house, married the same man, had the same dog etc….I'm going to see this flick - TWICE!

  81. TRuTH says – reply to this


    i think the whole thing is RETARDED!!

    if they don't want to see the flick, DON"T GO eeeediots.

  82. 82

    It's a MOVIE with BEN STILLER of course its going to be bad and derogatory. why do people have to make HUGE deals out of such little shit. stop wasting money and things that dont fucking matter.

  83. 83

    annoying — why do they have to? Maybe if the actors (or any of you) had children with those disabilities, you'd feel differently about this.

  84. zoob says – reply to this


    Re: Irish Joey – yeah, i saw that too…. what the hell is tom cruise doing in this movie?

  85. 85

    You guys are all HORRIBLE. This is mean and makes fun of people who can not defend themselves. They are DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED and this is just MEAN. BOYCOTT TROPIC THUNDER!!!!!

  86. 86

    I'm retarded and I think it is hilarious. If you don't agree, nobody is making you watch it, just keep your opinion to yourself.

  87. 87

    Re: JohnnyCade – Yes but in this movie they're actually making fun of the developmentally disabled, not just tossing around the word retarded. And aren't you just so precious and lucky that you don't have to take care of a developmentally disabled sibling. They do know when people stare, or when people talk about them. They're not stupid. People like you are horrible!

  88. 88

    Now, I haven't seen this movie yet, though I really want to so I don't know the context the word is used…

    But in my life I've discovered that there are people with disabilities, learning disabilities, mental disabilities, physical disabilities..

    And then there are retards. straight up, every day, walking around, retards. People who say and do things so stupid that you can hardly bear to look at them retards.

    This doesn't mean that there aren't people in the world who have mental disabilities and are also retards. It's all relative haha get over it.

  89. 89

    OMG…what drama queens! I'm not like kicking them while they're down or anything…but hellooooo…Forrest Gump…Of Mouse And Men…yeah. It's not taking a personal shot at anybody. And I agree…if you don't like it, you don't have to watch it! What is wrong with people…nobody is holding a gun to your head! If somebody called a woman a bitch…and I was a bitch…and I didn't like the character…I sure as hell wouldn't be offended!

  90. 90

    The nice thing about movies like this is you have a choice: see it or don't. If you're offended, well, stay home and let the rest of us enjoy ourselves.

  91. 91

    I think they're all a bunch of retards.

  92. 92

    Geeeeeeeez, c'mon peeps. You are a tard if you let a movie, song, show etc. dictate your stance on important matters. ITS A FU*KING MOVIE. Don't see it if you're too sensitive about certain matters. Go protest something important instead (thank you Sammy).

  93. 93

    Umm did everyone forget about freedom of speech?

  94. 94

    HEY! we all have to learn to laugh at ourselves, even the retards.
    Well, at least they didn't say fucktards… that's a plus.

  95. 95

    Didn't a bunch of models protest when "Zoolander" came out or "Something about Mary" N O T
    You know why? Because it's a movie. Make believe. It's to escape reality for a mere 2 hours. Suck it up, and laugh it up!!!

  96. 96

    these groups of people that are protesting need to get OVER it!!!! its only a damn movie for fucks sake!

  97. 97

    if you don't like it - don't watch it! focus attention on more important matters.

  98. 98

    I think people have far too much time on their hands and need to get a life. There is always going to be someone, from a group somewhere who will find something offensive… What I find offensive, is that these groups, and/or individuals are consistently responsible for ruining a multitude of laughs, good times simply because they take themselves far too seriously.

  99. 99

    This is silly! If everyone protested some little thing in a comedy,
    then no movies would ever be made. Theres a lot of STD jokes,
    or racial slurs but none of that matters. Only if they use mentally handicapped people.
    If they have a person in a wheelchair there wouldnt be riots for rights of the disabled.

  100. 100

    To all of you that have an IQ of less than 50 that posted a comment using the offensive words that the disability community are boycotting, you should try pulling your heads out of your asses and do some research as to why they are boycotting. There are a lot of other minorities that are made fun of in this movie yes, but they all had a representative for their cause on set okaying the jokes/ comments/ and other offensive material. There was NO representative defending or monitoring their cause . Obviously none of you are really involved with a disabled or mentally challenged person. Your comments only show your ignorance and I hope for your sake that you educate yourselfs a bit better.
    This movie is rude, and if the disabled crowd wants to stand up for their cause and for what they believe in, more power to them.

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