'Tower Heist' Director Brett Ratner Apologizes for Epilepsy Joke in Movie's Trailer (Video)
Tower Heist director Brett Ratner has apologized for a joke about epilepsy that was include in the trailer for his upcoming action-comedy, which stars Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller.
The apology comes after actor Greg Grunberg, whose 15-year-old son Jake has epilepsy, called for a boycott last week.
The actor, whose credits include Lost, Heroes and Love Bites, was upset over an exchange during which Murphy's character pokes fun at Stiller's character over a childhood ailment, calling him "little seizure boy" twice. After watching the trailer, Grunberg expressed his frustration to his 1.4 million Twitter followers.
“TERRIBLY OFFENSIVE TRAILER for #TowerHeist – Making fun @ people w/ seizures is NOT FUNNY & WRONG! “Seizure Boy!” REALLY? #Boycott RT,” he tweeted.
TalkAboutIt.org, an organization that Grunberg founded which is devoted to raising awareness about epilepsy, said in a post on its website over the weekend that Ratner had issued an apology to the actor.
“I am so sorry you are offended. ... I sincerely feel bad,” Ratner wrote to Grunberg.
The organization added that Ratner has asked Universal Studios to change the movie’s marketing campaign by removing the offensive jokes from planned television spots.
After receiving the apology from Ratner, Grunberg tweeted the news with a message to the director.
"THANKS @BrettRatner for ur SINCERE APOLOGY to the Epilepsy Community! I'm lifting my personal boycott of ur hilarious film #TowerHeist RT," he wrote.
Earlier this week, Gruberg had demanded that Universal issue an apology over the joke.
“The movie is filled with all of my favorite actors,” Grunberg told ABC News Radio. “It’s a funny concept for a movie, [but the joke is] irresponsible, ignorant and not funny.”
He also called for the studio to "reach out to the Epilepsy community and say, ‘we mean no personal harm to anybody,’ which of course they don’t. They probably just don’t even realize the people they are offending and how this could possibly offend people.”
Tower Heist also stars Gabourey Sidibe, Casey Affleck, Michael Pena, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda and Tea Leoni. It's set for a Nov. 4 release.