August 15 2008 Children with Special Needs Newsletter
Tropic Thunder Affects Ordinary Life
Ben Stiller´s movie, Tropic Thunder, offers a humiliating portrayal of a developmentally disabled character, hate language, and a ´movie within a movie´ that promotes immediate danger to individuals with intellectual disabilities who attend movies, work at theaters, or participate in community life.
Advocacy organizations, local support groups and individual family members are protesting the depiction of the character Simple Jack and misrepresentation of parents of children with disabilities. They objected to DreamWork's decision to market the movie through a despicable webpage, www.tuggspeedman.com, and movie poster based on the 'movie with a movie', and condemn the prolific use of hate language demeaning to people with intellectual challenges that is already reflected in public discussions of our concerns.
National organizations urge a boycott of the movie and raising awareness of the substantial consequences of accepting or ignoring hateful language. Some parents are setting up informational tables and pickets at local theaters showing the film, others put signs in their vehicles or deliver copies of anti-hate literature to movie theaters to distribute to patrons. Others are checking with their local school district and mayor's office to see whether there are rules or ordinances against hate language that includes protection of individuals with disabilities.
Many advocates are setting up newspaper, television and radio interviews to get the word out to our friends as well as families of mainstream children who may not know that the movie has scenes and language in it that affect their children's social development and our sons' and daughters' quality of life, opportunities, inclusion and safety in their communities and schools.
Let us know what is happening in your community, school or social program at the discussion forum:
Please distribute this information as widely as is possible.
Excellent articles and presentations are available at:
Terri Mauro's View of "Tropic Thunder"
Will Schermerhorn put together something wonderful that is available to be shared in many formats (flash, wmv, quicktime) and as a YouTube movie.
Ban the R-word
Change Offensive R-word to 'ridiculous'
Thursday August 14
Chewing the Fat - Dave Hingsburger
Words Hit Like A Fist
'Disability groups protest 'Tropic Thunder'
Protestors hold signs criticizing the upcoming film "Tropic Thunder" across the street from the film's premiere in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 11, 2008.
'Tropic Thunder' finds itself at the center of a firestorm
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Protest Tropic Thunder's Disability Stereotype
I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. Stay strong.
Please pass this message along to family and friends, to protect and defend vulnerable people who do not have a voice.
Pamela Wilson, Special Needs Children Editor
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IDEA - Education Law
IEP Preparation - Teacher Support
Universal Design for Learning - Access to
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Faith, Religion, and Children with Special Needs
Explaining Down Syndrome to Children
Asking More from Medical Professionals
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Inclusive Education and the Culture of Down Syndrome
The Power of Communication
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MRSA Antibiotic Resistant Staph Infections
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Encouraging Late Talking Children
Recess Skills for Children with Special Needs
Oral Health and Dental Visits for Children
Sleep Disorders and Children with Special Needs
Outdoor Games for Summer
State and National Park Disability Passes
Explaining a Serious Diagnosis to Children
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