About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I know I wrote about this yesterday, but when I read some reviews this morning,
written by movie critics who dismiss the use of the word "retard" as not significant
in the movie....I got a bit miffed, to say the least.

Examples of reviews:
* " . . . a scene in which Lazarus criticizes Speedman for 'going full retard' in 'Simple Jack' is a put-down only of overweening, ambitious actors who take roles as physically and mentally challenged characters because they're proven Oscar-bait." -- Ann Hornaday, the Washington Post* " 'Tropic Thunder' is drawing fire from special interest groups for . . . its frequent use of the word 'retard,' but discerning audiences will know where the humor is targeted. And they'll be laughing too hard to take offense." -- Christian Toto, the Washington Times * "The script's references to 'retards' have generated some pre-release controversy, but advocates for people with learning disabilities should find something worthier to protest; the target here is the pretensions of movie stars who think that by adopting a stammer they can understand the problems of the people they portray." -- John Beifuss, the Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)* "Stiller isn't making fun of those with mental retardation. He's skewering an industry that honors actors who prove their seriousness by taking such roles." -- Daniel M. Kimmel, the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette

This is what is said in the movie:

Ben Stiller's character: "There were times when I was doing Jack when I actually felt retarded. Like really retarded." ;
Robert Downey Jr.'s character: "Oh yeah. Damn."
Stiller: "In a weird way, I had to sort of just free myself up to believe that it was okay to be stupid or dumb."
Downey: "To be a moron."
Stiller: "Yeah."
At another point, about acting like a person with intellectual disabilities, they say:
Stiller: "It's what we do, right?"
Downey: "Everybody knows you never do a full retard."
Stiller: "What do you mean?"
Downey: "Check it out.
Dustin Hoffman, 'Rain Man,' look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Count toothpicks to your cards. Autistic, sure. Not retarded. You know Tom Hanks, 'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain't retarded. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard."

Because I am the Mother of 3 children, who are labeled with Autism and Mental Retardation I have the right to be offended by the "r" word and it use in the film.

Ben Stiller has taken the "r" word and made it justafiable to use. Mr. Stiller, when you justify a derogatory term such as "retard", you make it okay for others to use that word. It is no less justifiable than using the "N" word when referring to an African-American. Or the "K" word when referring to a person who is Jewish.

The movie critics are no better. They too justify the use of the "r" word. As one lame critic wrote..."discerning audiences will know where the humor is targeted..."

I, along with Special Olympics, am offended...but not for me....for my children. Mr. Stiller, you owe them a huge apology along with the rest of the mentally challenged community. You have small children...it is your job, as their parent, to teach them better.


beau99 said...

To be quite honest, I don't see what the big deal is.

To me, it's just a word.

Mom26children said...

When a word is used as a "WEAPON" to demean a person, to me, it becomes much more than a "word"....

r.b. said...

Ever the optimist, the realist, the idealist...I think it's good that a discussion is being raised about the word. People who have the right to be offended, and the people who love them are sounding off in a way that's never been heard before. It's being brought up into discussion.

When I was young,YEARS ago, "retard" was a word that I was called by my brothers and sisters. I never took it personally. But the greatest anger I ever saw from my son (who is brilliant, but was in a "special class") was when another student called him retarded. Having autistic tendencies, I'm not sure if I would be pegged for a "special class" today. It's kind of scary...

Anonymous said...

Tropic Thunder is getting lots of attention and making tons of money partly because of all the fuss over the retard thing. people are curious. They want to see what's causing all the controversy. You and others like you who howled and carried on in your blogs deserve a cut of the action.
People have been calling each other retard and spazz and idiot for decades. It's not going to change any time soon