Dreamworks will not make any cuts or changes to this week’s comedy “Tropic Thunder” despite advocacy groups calling for a boycott of the Ben Stiller comedy reports The ABC.
Representatives of the Special Olympics, the Arc of the United States, the National Down Syndrome Congress, the American Association of People with Disabilities and other groups met with studio executives last week to discuss the film.
In question is the use of the word ‘retard’ numerous times in the film, specifically to a ‘movie within a movie’ character named Simple Jack which Stiller plays. As the character is a small but pivotal element to not only the plot but one of the film’s more successful comedic sequences satirizing Hollywood actors, a simple cut is not a workable option.
A Dreamworks spokesman says “Tropic Thunder is a … comedy that satirises 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.”
The situation has proven unexpected for the studio which was bracing for complaints about Robert Downey Jr’s role of a white Australian actor who changes his skin colour to play an African-American soldier. Yet no complaints have surfaced.