Friday, August 15, 2008

"Tropic Thunder" protests still receiving coverage, but positive mainstream media reviews added into stories

This afternoon I saw on CNN Headline News that the "Tropic Thunder" protests are still being covered, but now the media stories are adding the many positive reviews of the movie from film critics into the story.

And CNN is hosting "Tropic Thunder" iReports on its Web site from people who send them in and one that was featured on the CNN broadcast said the film is making fun of actors and Hollywood, not intellectually disabled people.

All these iReports have a place for everyone to post comments to challenge the opinions presented there. Timothy Shriver of the Special Olympics had a commentary on CNN August 13 about why the film shouldn't be seen.

The LA Times on August 15 did a roundup story about many of the reviews from movie critics, who seem to disagree with the disability community about the offensiveness of the film. The story is headlined: "Film critics stand firm against 'Tropic Thunder' protests by advocates for the disabled." I don't think the film critics understand that the issue is not about a misunderstanding of satire in the movie, but about the repeated use of an ableist slur that takes a stronger hold in American culture the more it is used.

Leaders in the African American community have come out against the N-word. In fact, the NAACP had a "funeral for the N-word" in 2007. The GBLT community has come out against the F-word. And no one says those groups don't "get the satire."

Finally, why is there so little uproar about a white character in blackface in a movie in 2008? Robert Downey Jr. plays the character in "Tropic Thunder" (above).