Saturday, August 16, 2008

Actor with Down syndrome explains difference between "The Ringer," "Tropic Thunder"

Actor Eddie Barbanell of "The Ringer" (pictured left) and journalist and disability news blogger Patricia E. Bauer appeared on "The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet," which had an show on "Tropic Thunder" August 15.

Barbanell and Bauer both made excellent points about the problematic use of the R-word in "Tropic Thunder," and Barbanell expertly explained how the film "The Ringer," a 2005 comedy about the Special Olympics in which he starred with Johnny Knoxville, handled the R-word issue in a more respectful way. (The Special Olympics was involved with the production and had final approval on many aspects of the film.)

Bauer has an op-ed called "A Movie, a Word and My Family's Battle" in the August 17 Washington Post.

You can watch the show with Barbanell and Bauer here.

Also on the show was David Tolleson, executive director of the National Down Syndrome Congress, and Gitesh Pandya of Pandya reported that "Tropic Thunder" did open at No. 1 August 13 with a first-day gross of $6.5 million from 3,319 theaters. But the stoner comedy "Pineapple Express" opened at $12.1 million on August 6.

Here's hoping that credit for the much lower box office take can be given to the disability protesters, because "Tropic Thunder" received much better reviews than "Pineapple Express," according to movie review compilation Web site Everyone, with or without a connection to the disability community, who doesn't like the R-word can "vote" with their wallet by not buying a ticket for "Tropic Thunder." After all, money loss is a language Hollywood producers can understand.