'Tropic Thunder' angers disability groups

Protesting the film over its use of the 'r-word'

Special Olympics chairman and CEO Timothy Shriver and other leaders of disabled advocacy groups have slammed the "use of the r-word" in the film "Tropic Thunder" to describe people with intellectual disabilities.

Protesters from the advocacy coalition were out in force Monday night outside the Westwood premiere of the DreamWorks/Paramount film. They also were calling for a boycott.

In the movie, a Hollywood actor portrayed by Ben Stiller once took a film role playing a mentally handicapped person in an unsuccessful attempt to win an Oscar.

"Special Olympics is launching an 'r-word' campaign to seek remove of the use of the word from mainstream language and popular culture," protest organizers said.

" 'Tropic Thunder' is an R-rated comedy that satirizes Hollywood and its excesses and makes its point by featuring inappropriate and over-the-top characters in ridiculous situations. The film is in no way meant to disparage or harm the image of individuals with disabilities," DreamWorks spokesman Chip Sullivan said.

"We have had productive discussions with representatives of disability advocacy organizations and look forward to working with them closely in the future. However, no changes or cuts to the film will be made."