By now the general public has heard of a new motion picture opening this week, “Tropic Thunder,” marketed as a satire about Hollywood actors.

The movie-within-the movie called “Simple Jack: Once Upon a Time There was a Retard” contains extremely offensive material promoting that a “retard” is funny.

This movie ostracizes a group that faces ridicule and continues to perpetuate negative stereotypes. The film’s flagrant use of the “R-word” encourages behavior that degrades a sector of the population already facing many challenges.

It is time that U.S 1 and its readers help take a stand against a word that has gained popularity in our culture, but is offensive to so many. The “R-word” has found a place in common language and seems to be accepted. In fact, it is said 16 times in one scene in “Tropic Thunder” and over 60 times throughout the movie.

The word hurts, even if it is not directed at a person with intellectual disabilities. For too long people with intellectual disabilities have had to overcome the challenges society has put forth through stereotypes. It is time for a change and everyone reading this can help.

Make a change by boycotting “Tropic Thunder.” Help show Hollywood that it is time they demonstrate respect and understanding and recognize the hurt they cause by insensitive depictions of persons with intellectual disabilities.

To learn more about how you can be a fan of dignity visit

Marc S. Edenzon

CEO, Special Olympics NJ

Show Goes On

I would like to make a correction to Barbara Westergaard’s review of “Leader of the Pack” (August 6), playing at Off Broadstreet Theater through August 24. She states that I am planning to “forsake show business and enter the medical world.” This is incorrect. Perhaps after I have a very long career in the performing arts I would like to try out the medical field, but I am definately NOT “forsaking” show business. I am currently in school (Fordham/ Alvin Ailey) pursing a BFA in dance.

Kelli Youngman

Correction: In the story on Todd Parker, the film producer profiled in Fast Lane on August 13, the name of his one-year-old company was incorrect. It is Wilmor Production Services (

In addition, Parker was the director, not the writer, of “Serenity,” and was the writer and director of the first four episodes of the television show “Atlanta: Homicide.” Finally, Laura Martin, a New York City-based writer, is the author of “Chemistry,” Parker’s most successful film to date

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