Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Disabilities Ministry issues statement on movie ‘Tropic Thunder.’

The Church of the Brethren Disabilities Ministry has issued a statement on the recently released movie, "Tropic Thunder." The statement is made in support of people with intellectual disabilities, said Kathy Reid, executive director of the denomination’s Caring Ministries.

"Tropic Thunder" is a DreamWorks production directed by and starring Ben Stiller, released on Aug. 13. A portion of the plot is a fictional film, "Simple Jack," about a farmer with intellectual disabilities who is played by the Stiller character.

"While some people think labeling and humiliating others is funny, we believe such behavior is abusive and should not be considered acceptable," the Disabilities Ministry statement said in part, adding that the group is "appalled" by the movie. "Under the guise of ‘parody,’ ‘Tropic Thunder’ insults and harms individuals with intellectual disabilities by repeated use of the ‘R-word.’ The movie perpetuates derogatory images and stereotypes of these individuals by mocking their physical appearance and speech, perpetuating inappropriate myths and misperceptions, and legitimizing painful discrimination, exclusion, and bullying."

The Disabilities Ministry is led by a committee including Pat Challenger, Heddie Sumner, Karen Walters, Brett Winchester, and Kathy Reid as staff representative. Go to for the full text of the statement. Go to for more information about the Church of the Brethren Disabilities Ministry.

Source: 8/27/2008 Newsline

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