Arc Acts: Fight Offensive Portrayal: Intellectual Disabs; etc..

Arc Acts: Fight Offensive Portrayal: Intellectual Disabs; etc..
August 19, 2008
From:  Peter V. Berns, Executive Director
The Arc of the United States’ Board of Directors has a Task Force on Affiliation and Growth that is assessing the current status of the organization and mapping out plans for the future.  This planning process will only be successful if we have active participation of a broad range of people who are concerned about issues affecting people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
To gather input our consultants, Tom McLaughlin and Stacey Zelbow of Grant Thornton, have created a confidential online survey.  The link to the survey is:
We would like to have the survey completed by as many people as follows.  So please help us by doing the following:
> Take the survey yourself by clicking on the link.
> Forward the link to anyone else you think might be interested in participating. 
We apologize in the event that you are receiving this survey announcement more than once from different email lists.  Please complete the survey only once.
Thank you in advance for helping to make this planning process a success.
Help The Arc Fight Offensive Portrayal of People with Intellectual Disabilities More Info in soon-to- be-released film "Tropic Thunder"
Contact Us  |  The Arc Website
1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 650, Silver Spring, MD 20910  |  301.565.3842
Help The Arc Fight Offensive Portrayal of People with Intellectual Disabilities
August 8, 2008
Tropic Thunder is an action/adventure/comedy scheduled for nationwide release on August 13 and promises to be one of the blockbusters of the summer. DreamWorks is the film’s producer and Paramount is its distributor.  The premier will be held in Los Angeles, California on Monday, August 11.
The film features popular actors Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black as self-absorbed actors filming a big-budget war movie on location. Through a series of freak occurrences, they are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying.
Stiller plays Tugg Speedman, a fading action star who earlier failed in his bid for an Oscar as "Simple Jack," a man with an intellectual disability. "Simple Jack" is featured as a film-within-a-film, with Stiller sporting a classic institutional bowl haircut and bad teeth (see poster below). The film within-a-film’s slogan is "What he doesn’t have in his head, he makes up for in his heart." A satirical plot synopsis quotes a critic as saying that Speedman’s Jack was "one of the most retarded performances in cinema history."
A small number of disability advocates was able to screen the film on Friday, August 8.  Their assessment of the film was that it was far worse than anything they could have anticipated.  According to David Tolleson, the Executive Director of the National Down Syndrome Congress who attended the screening, "it provides real ammunition for cruelty" especially for the film’s target audience of adolescent males.  "Not only is the Simple Jack character highly central to the film’s plot, it is portrayed in the most demeaning way," according to Tolleson. 
In perhaps the single most offensive scene in the film, Matthew McConaughey, who plays a Hollywood agent, speaks to the film’s main character who wants to adopt a child.  "Well, at least you still have a choice.  I’m stuck with mine," states McConaughey while pointing to a photograph of his teenage son who appears to have an intellectual disability.
There has been mounting outrage from the disability community as the film’s content is gradually becoming known.  For excellent coverage of the issue, see and related posts. Hundreds of comments have been posted on the blog expressing outrage about the movie.
Representatives of a number of national disability organizations, including The Arc’s Executive Director Peter V. Berns, met with DreamWorks and Paramount studio executives in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday, August 6. The purpose of the meeting was to express concerns, request a viewing of the film, and discuss possible solutions.
Take Action
Depending on negotiations with the studio executives over the weekend, The Arc and its coalition partners may be calling on its membership to take appropriate action.  Such action includes a protest at the premier in Los Angeles on August 11 and/or national boycott when the film is released on August 13.  Stay tuned……

About reality

Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: This petition on Haiti disaster anniversary:   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: This petition on Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts:,_native_american_acts,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: This petition on Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday:   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: This petition on Economically empower through advocacy:
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