Stiller’s character, Tugg Speedman, is an actor who plays a mentally challenged man, Simple Jack, who is blatantly gunning to win an Academy Award – and is being ridiculed by the general public for it.
Reuters reports that 22 disability groups across the U.S. will protest the film, including at it’s premiere in Los Angeles.
Peter Wheeler from the Special Olympics says, “We are asking people not to go to the movie and hope to bring a consciousness to people about using derogatory words about this population… We will continue to be vocal about the destructive effect of this film.”
Stiller responded to the controversy, telling MTV, “It’s sort of edgy territory, but we felt that as long as the focus was on the actors who were trying to do something to be taken seriously that’s going too far or wrong, that was where the humor would come from.”
“[The joke is on] actors reaching for roles in terms of hopefully winning awards.”
DreamWorks has faced pressure from the groups who are demanding a re-edit of the film, however, spokesman Chip Sullivan told Ain’t It Cool News that this won’t happen.
“‘Tropic Thunder’ is an R-rated comedy that satirizes Hollywood and its excesses, and makes its point by featuring inappropriate and over-the-top characters in ridiculous situations. The film is in no way meant to disparage or harm the image of individuals with disabilities,” he said.
“We have had productive discussions with representatives of disability advocacy organizations and look forward to working with them closely in the future. However, no changes or cuts to the film will be made.”
Photo courtesy of DreamWorks.