Clooney Flick Draws Criticism For Use Of ‘Retarded’
George Clooney’s new film “The Descendants” is getting some major Oscar buzz. But that’s not why disability advocates are talking about the family drama.
The film features Clooney as a father trying to connect with his daughters while his wife is on life support following a boating accident.
A scene in the movie shows Clooney’s character, Matt, in a heated exchange with his daughter’s boyfriend, Sid, where both use the term “retarded” in a derogatory fashion.
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The exchange has disability advocates on edge, warning others on blogs and social networking sites to stay away from the film.
“If hearing the word ‘retarded’ used several times in a gratuitous joke within a movie is something that is going to ruin a night out for you, save your time and heartache and do not see ‘The Descendants,'” reads a posting on the Special Olympics blog.
The group, which sponsors the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign to end use of the word “retarded,” told Disability Scoop in a statement that the organization “is always disappointed to hear when film writers use the r-word gratuitously and the usage makes it to the final product.”
The film is not the first to draw criticism for use of the word “retarded.” This summer advocates called out the movie “The Change Up” for its inclusion of the term. And three years ago, protests led to some changes in how the comedy “Tropic Thunder” was promoted.
Representatives from Fox Searchlight, which is distributing “The Descendants,” did not return calls requesting comment.