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Ben Stiller Offends Advocacy Groups

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Author Topic: Ben Stiller Offends Advocacy Groups  (Read 142 times)
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« on: August 12, 2008, 05:34:15 pm »

Ben Stiller Offends Advocacy Groups
Written by: Katharine Westfall

“Tropic Thunder” controversial after use of blackface and jokes about the disabled.

Ben Stiller’s films have never been called politically correct, but now several nonprofit groups say his latest project, Tropic Thunder, has crossed a serious line. Advocacy groups for the disabled are arguing that the movie, which is set to open on Wednesday, is disturbingly offensive toward the mentally handicapped. Specifically, E! News reported, they are referring to Stiller’s own role as an actor named Tugg Speedman, who was once cast as a character named Simple Jack. Throughout the film, Jack is consistently mocked as a “retard.” E! also reported that a spokesman for the Special Olympics had said that the advocacy groups’ ultimate goal would be to pull the movie from theaters or, at the very least, encourage the American public to boycott it. The Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Congress, and other organizations have not been able to communicate with Stiller, but have met with the film’s production company, DreamWorks.

The insult to the disabled in Tropic Thunder may be overshadowed by other potentially racist themes. As a white actor playing a black man, Robert Downey, Jr. has reintroduced blackface to American cinema. According to Reuters, Downey has said in interviews that his makeup was intended to critique the self-absorption of those in the acting profession, and “not [to] be racist or offensive.” The backlash about this aspect of the film has surfaced as worry, rather than anger. The president of civil rights group Project Islamic HOPE said that Downey’s acting “[rose] above buffoonery.” However, Reuters also quoted his concern that one portrayal of blackface could trigger a domino effect, and that while Downey had done it tastefully, “blackface is still blackface.”

Stiller, the director, insists that the movie is meant satirically and not offensively. In an MTV news article, he summarized the film’s humor as mocking “actors reaching for roles in terms of hopefully winning awards.”


Stiller and Downey are both Jews and everyone knows that only Jews are allowed to be 'racist and offense' because only Jews are human and they rest of us goy's are no better than animals.

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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside. --Allan Bloom

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