Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dear Hollywood -- Get A Grip

I can barely put into words the anger I have about the movie we just saw.  This is the third movie this summer that I have had to sit through after spending about $10 on a ticket only to hear the word "retarded" used to describe someone in a demeaning and cruel manner.

First it was in "Larry Crowne" and I was pissed.  That's the only way to describe it.  Pissed.  I was like, really?  Julia Roberts?  Really, Tom Hanks?  You are in this movie and Tom Hanks wrote, produced and directed it and you had to use the word "retarded" to describe someone?  Honestly?  Was it artistically necessary?  Was it used in an educational context?  No-- it was offensive and unnecessary.

The next movie it was used in was "Friends With Benefits" and Justin Timberlake's character says to Mila Kunis that a gentleman in Central Park is either sleeping standing up or he is "retarded".  Another kick to the gut.  Was it really necessary?  Really?  No other term or witty phrase could be used?

The problem is, when I hear that word used in a movie, I immediately shut down.  It's a kick in the gut because I know that the word is never and I mean never used in a kind, humane or compassionate manner.  It's used to degrade, to belittle and to make fun of people who cannot stand up for themselves (or at least those who use it don't think that they can stand up for themselves).  

Tonight's movie just pushed me to the limit.  All I can say is, save your money.  I like Jason Batemen and I like Ryan Reynolds.  After a long week of work and lots of long appointments for Joey, I was ready for a nice date night and comedy with my husband.  Within the first 15 minutes of the movie "The Change Up" I wanted to leave, I wanted to get my money back and I wanted to scream to the world that I was PISSED.  Just pissed.  

Here's the scene.  Ryan Reynold's plays this bachelor guy who has a lot of lady friends and is living the single life while Jason Batemen is married with 3 kids.  RR goes into JB's house, see JB's twins in their high chairs and asks JB, "Why don't they talk?  Are they retarded?  This one looks a little bit Downsy."

I thought I was going to fall out of my seat.  I've slowly come to realize that the R word is unfortunately not going to just go away.  It's a word that is a kick to my gut every time I hear it.  BUT-- to say that a little baby looks "a little bit Downsy" just pushed me to my personal limit.  I was pissed.  I am pissed and I'm just disappointed in every single person who had anything to do with this movie.  Did not one single person stand up and say, "You know, I think this takes it a little bit too far."?  Did not one person in the making, producing and distributing of the movie not think that maybe the movie could do without this one line that is so demeaning, cruel and hateful?

Shame on you Hollywood.  Shame on your ignorance.  Shame on your pushing the proverbial envelope.  Grow up.  

Down syndrome is a condition.  It's an extra chromosome that not one single person who is born with can do anything about.  Do people with Down syndrome look different?  Maybe, but to me if you know someone who just happens to be a "little bit Downsy" then you are blessed beyond belief because my baby who is not just a little bit Downsy, but who is all100% Downsy, is an absolute angel.  


  1. Well said Jen!

    Guess we wont be seeing that movie!

  2. I am going to throw up. Guess I know what movie I will be boycotting. How could anyone think that is funny? That is horrible. Have you seen anything about NDSS getting involved? Our local chapter got involved when Napoleon Dynamite was going to be shown at our "movies in the park".

  3. I just learned about the movie from the Fighting Monsters blog and saw your comment there. I am so sorry you had to experience that - especially out of the blue when you were trying to relax.

  4. Also just followed your link to read this. So upsetting. I'm sorry for you that your date night was ruined by this hurtful, hateful and completely useless line.

    By the way--your son is adorable. =)


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