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Sunday, 24 August 2008

Let's NOT Boycott Tropic Thunder, to make the point

The movie, Tropic Thunder has opened here in Australia, to barely a ripple of protest, less than rave reviews (but it hasn't been slammed in the popular press, either), and an occasional nod to protests by disability activists in the US - so it seems it will have the expected audience, will certainly make money, and have significant competition from much better movies at the same time.

Pam Wilson, a writer on disability issues (and the mother of an adult son who has Down syndrome) has had Second Thoughts on the Tropic Thunder Boycott . She says in part, I realized I want everyone in the USA to see Tropic Thunder. Every neighbor, school principal, police officer, store clerk and medical professional should see this movie while it is in theaters. I want them to know why people with disabilities and their families were shocked and angry, deeply hurt and disappointed - and why they called for a boycott of this film and DVD.

It doesn't matter if audiences understand while watching that this movie, written to poke fun at Hollywood insiders, causes overwhelming distress to worried moms of newly diagnosed babies and alarms families of kindergartners to high school seniors ready to transition to ordinary adult life. School principals and parents of our children's classmates need to know what anti-bullying progam in their schools are up against.

If everyday people don't see this movie right now, what we write will not make sense to them. Tropic Thunder has an 'R' rating and movie reviewers give it five stars. They can't expect us to be reliable reporters when none of us wants to see the film and those who have say it's worse than expected. How can we expect the general public to understand the dread we feel at the thought of the 'extras' that will be available when the DVD is released, when they are unaware of the excesses of the basic picture?

Click here to read the full text of her article on BellaOnline

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