The R word

We’ve had spirited discussions in this space over the last 10 months about the public use of certain words.

Now we have a chance to have another, thanks to Ben Stiller’s new movie “Tropic Thunder.”

Retard.

At the premiere, several groups protested the movie, according to former WCCO reporter — now CBS correspondent — Ben Tracy.


Dozens of people from organizations such as the Special Olympics and the American Association of People with Disabilities protested the movie-industry spoof across the street from the film’s Los Angeles premiere at Mann’s Bruin Theatre on Monday. The protesters held up signs with slogans such as “Call me by my name, not by my label” and chanted phrases like “Ban the movie, ban the word.”

Dreamworks says it won’t make any changes to the film, but has changed its promotional materials and yanked the Web site, which contained the tag line “Once there was a retard.”

It’s just satire. It’s just a joke.

Craig Ludin, 32, isn’t laughing. He’s best at swimming, although he plays a good golf game, too. He works at Capital One Bank. He has Down syndrome. And he hates the word, according to Newsday.

“I’m sorry they have that opinion,” Stiller said.. “They haven’t even seen the movie.”