'Tropic Thunder' Protest

Protestors hold signs criticizing the upcoming film "Tropic Thunder" across the street from the film's premiere in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
By  | 

Los Angeles (AP) The LA premiere of “Tropic Thunder” not only drew the movie's stars, it also attracted protesters. Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver thinks the movie makes fun of and humiliates people with intellectual disabilities.

He and others are upset by what they say is the “tasteless” portrayal of the mentally disabled, along with the use of certain words to describe them. Protesters held up signs with slogans such as “call me by my name, not by my label.” They chanted, “ban the movie, ban the word.”

“Tropic Thunder” director and co-star Ben Stiller plays a fame-hungry actor cast in a war movie, after previously playing a role as a mentally disabled character named simple jack. Co-star Robert Downey Junior says people have a right to protest, but he also says artists have a right to say and do what they want.

A DreamWorks spokesman says “no changes or cuts to the film will be made.”