Monday, August 11, 2008

Boycott: It's just a word!

Read this.
Watch this.
Take action.
Boycott hate.


  1. Your title is the perfect response to the people who argue "it's just a word."

    Good job with the movie poster, too.

  2. Oh, how perfect Bev. Thank you. I'd like to wear the second one in a t-shirt around town. Stiller really is a bully ... and a bigot, too.

  3. While this is a worthwhile boycott, I'm a bit bothered that you'll get behind this, but not even reply to emails about mine against the WWE. :(

  4. It is time to take the "r" word out of circulation.

    I've written a blog post, Words Hurt: The "r" Word, on Wanda and Rick Felty's campaign to "Ban the R Word", and Jenna Glatzer's pledge campaign, as well as the "Tropic Thunder" controversy.

    I'm keeping a partial list people posting negative responses to "Tropic Thunder". I've included a link to this post.

    The graphics are wonderful -- I too would wear a t-shirt.

    I also liked abfh's tag line:

    Never go full bigot.

  5. I think Cody has done an excellent analysis here:

    Mainly about how Downey's "black" character gets called out (in the movie; it's part of the joke and everybody "gets" it) on how ridiculously offensive performing in blackface is, but how nobody calls out the "retard". I think, sadly, it really is a case of not even being able to fathom the idea that folks with developmental disabilities are . . . um, human? And I guess that's why folks can't fathom why it's not just the word that's offensive . . . they seem to think it's just a case of "Oh, be nice; those people aren't smart enough to defend themselves, you know, so we should be nice and not say that word."

  6. Insensitivity abounds for the last several years much as it has for millenia.

    I would like to list about 3 years worth of insensitive people having to make apologies, change fear based advertsising campaigns, losing (at least temporarily) their air time, etc.

    But in principle, yes, I agree, I have no need to go see some movie (or do some other thing) and give money (or support/patronage) to a production or other group (Like AS)that feels it necessary to disparage a group of people who are not to blame for the situation, or callousness of entertaining/scaring the money out of the generally insensitive (and in some spots, impressionable) public.

    Maybe my statement may be somehow wrong for someone, if so, I am sorry in advance. :D


  7. Is the only reason people are boycotting this because it uses the word "retard" once or twice, or do they portray someone with a mental condition (specifically autism) in a negative light? Has anyone seen the movie to have an educated angle on this?

    I'm not trying to start an issue. I'm genuinely curious.

  8. I should remind everybody that what is acceptable and what is not changes. See the history of the status of words negro/black. It's not the word that people should fight, but the way it is used.

    (E.g. I don't mind my S.O. calling me a psycho, because it isn't used negatively. But many other people use 'psycho' as an intentional offensive word, and that annoys me.)

  9. jade, that's not a bad question at all. From what I've seen so far there are only preliminary reviews that -- naturally -- don't make rights for folks with developmental disabilities a priority. Check out the links Bev provides; they lead to other links that will give you a better idea of what the movie's like. (Considering the caliber of humor Stiller crowds enjoy, I'm thinking it's not too hard to imagine.) I admit it does require actually seeing the movie to formulate a fair opinion (though, "ironically", paying to see it would defeat the purpose of a boycott).

    Again, they obviously "get it" with the offensiveness of a white actor playing a black character -- and in fact the ridiculousness of actors catering to tired stereotypes is sort of the theme and the "point" of the movie. And that could actually be a good thing -- reminding the masses of how ridiculous that sort of stereotyping is. However, consider quotes like Downey's character's (acting) advice to "never go full retard".

  10. I love this! Not only does it target Ben Stiller & Tropical Thunder, it also slanders Rockstar Games who create games like Bully, that involve graphic and needless violence! It's 2 for the price of 1!

  11. I just read the script. One of the characters is yelling at Stiller for portraying a "retarded" person in a movie in such an extreme manner. He says that you need to do it like Forest Gump if you want an oscar. That's more realistic. "You never go full retard."

    Not the best choice of words, but the point isn't all that offensive. Again, he's being yelled at for portraying people like that. That's actually a bit positive.

    That said, the movie itself is horrible. If you're going to boycott it, do it because it's bad. Not because of the use of the word "retard."

  12. Vicky: "Ree-tard" is a slur. Should you also remind everybody of the history of *slurring* the word Negro?

  13. Jade,

    My intention with this is to get people talking and listening to how the word hurts people. I'm not talking about "Oh this hurts my feelings," but real life consequences of people being treated as less than fully human.

    Yes, apparantly the overacting is called out in the movie. But the language never is. Of course a word can't be "banned," but it can be noticed. It can be shown to be the conveyor of hatred that it is. It is one small step in recognizing that people with intellectual differences are people. I believe it is a necessary step.

    Do you seriously believe that the stuff that goes on at JRC and in other institutions is independent of how society views people who are developmentally different? Do you believe the language we use has nothing to do with that?

  14. evonne:
    Psycho (pronounced 'p-see-h' in my country) is very often used as a slur. 'We are psychos but we are not dumb' is supposed to sound as a semi-absurd phrase around here, judging by the way NTs tell the joke (long story).

    Anyway, you missed the point. Words don't mean anything by themselves. They're arbitrary strings of sounds/symbols used to denote some meanings, defined by people who use them.

    Is grakka (instead of graphics card) a slur? Is 'progger' (programmer) a slur? Is aspie a slur? Only if you and I and everybody else makes it so.

  15. I'm autistic.

    I'm a huge jerk, I bet.

    I'm probably a paradox for my people.

    I loved Tropic Thunder.

    I loved the "full-retard" joke.

    I'm sorry. I can laugh at it because I have dealt.

    The same way that many Holcaust survivors have come to seminars, laughing and being themselves instead of being depressed. Why? Because it's the only way to demystify the crap that is there.

    Don't flame me. I'm giving my two cents because I can. I liked the movie. I won't boycott it because of its humor. It was meant for everyone, neurotypicals and aspies alike.

  16. I always get a kick out of Eddie Murphy or Key and Peele playing white characters.


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