With Occupy Wall Street protestors now in their fourth week of not showering, things are starting to smell funky. As such, we thought it was a good time to look at some movies caused a stink when they were released, garnering protesters of their own.
Film has the potential to be a dangerous medium. If a certain portrayal is convincing enough, it can cement false stereotypes in the minds of viewers. For example, the idea that all Arabs are terrorists or that electric cars prefer the exclusive company of homosexuals. That’s why religious and social watchdog groups are quick to protest movies that offend their sensibilities. Here are nine examples.
Designed to be risque, the comedy Tropic Thunder was protested and boycotted by advocates for people with intellectual disabilities. Taking aim at dramas where the leads portray the mentally handicapped, the satire showed Ben Stiller‘s character as an actor trying to take a dramatic turn in the film within the film, Simple Jack. Problems arose from the film’s liberal use of the word “retard.” Oddly enough, no one was really rubbed the wrong way by Robert Downey Jr.‘s performance in black face.
Though they missed the point of the film, Arab American groups were upset by the plot of The Siege. The Council On American-Islamic Relations felt the film’s portrayal of Muslims and Arabs as terrorists was dangerous in the sense that it would impress that belief upon American audiences. Director Edward Zwick refused to edit the material which was actually a plee for racial tolerance and condemnation of the use of martial law.
The success of Halloween led to an overabundance of holiday-themed slasher films. But you just don’t mess with Santa. The public assembled outside of theaters screening Silent Night, Deadly Night and threatened to boycott newspapers that carried ads for the film. Hollywood got the message and eased up the holiday-centric fare. Otherwise, the plot of Groundhog’s Day would have been radically different.