Protest During â€œTropic Thunderâ€ Premiere
While stars including Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. celebrated the premier of Tropic Thunder in Westwood, hundreds of people picketed across the street. Chanting â€œTropic Thunder, colossal blunderâ€ and â€œR-word is hate speech,â€ protesters expressed offense at the film’s use of the word â€œretardâ€ to refer to a developmentally disabled character, â€œSimple Jack,â€ who is played by Ben Stiller in a sub-plot of the movie.
Special Olympics recently launched their â€œR-Wordâ€ campaign in an effort to remove the term from mainstream language and popular culture. Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Timothy Shiver, who marched in the Westwood protest, has called for people and theaters to boycott the movie. â€œWe don’t live in times when labeling and humiliating others is funny,â€ he declared.
DreamWorks spokesman Chip Sullivan claims the film is meant to satirize Hollywood by â€œfeaturing inappropriate and over-the-top characters in ridiculous situations,â€ and that it is â€œin no way meant to disparage or harm the image of individuals with disabilities.â€
Countrywide Classic Tennis
The Countrywide Classic, in its 82nd year, returned to the Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA last month and offered a host of activities for the whole community to enjoy. ATP players entertained children during Kids
Day, brand enthusiasts strutted their stuff during Fashion Day, while tennis aficionados competed in the Valspar Performance Challenge for a trip to the US Open. The one-week event began with 28 single players and 16 doubles teams, awarding over $1 million in prize money. Argentinean Juan Martin Del Potro ultimately prevailed over former US Open Champion Andy Roddick for the tournament title. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Southern California Tennis Association, a non-profit tennis organization located in Westwood.