August 13 2008
Tropic Thunder, a comedy film that premiered at a red carpet event August 11th starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr has was protested heavily for using & abusing the term “retard.” It’s all over the news and Special Olympics chairman Timothy Shriver wrote a long article for the Huffington post calling for a ban on the “r” word.
This topic is relevant to Unseen Abilities as our title refers to one of the two main characters in the film, who is physically handicapped after a car accident. Unlike Tropic Thunder, I don’t see Unseen Abilities upsetting anyone as the beginning of the film quickly shows how likable & capable the physically challenged can be.
I do think Timothy and others have raised very good points, but I’m afraid their efforts are only giving the film lots more press, driving up box office revenues. I was happy to hear Dreamworks and the actors took the protests seriously. Hopefully Tropic Thunder doesn’t cast a dark shadow on other films that handle the topic more gracefully.