Last Friday, as many of us were enjoying the fun and fellowship of the NDSC Convention in San Antonio, Universal Pictures released the film, "The Change-Up". According to reports, lines in the film attributed to the Ryan Reynolds' character include: "Why aren't they talking - what are they retarded?" and "This one, he looks Downsy" in referring to two young children in the film.
Though no one at the NDSC has seen the film (nor do we wish to, at this point), the comments we've heard - and the lack of a response to the contrary from the Studio - indicate that Universal has engaged in bigotry for laughs. While we don't want to use our national platform to publicize or promote this movie in any way, we do want parents to be aware of this content, so those who choose to see it aren't taken by surprise by these words, which could be painful, if they are heard out of the blue.
What can you do? If you're on Facebook, add your comments to the pages of Universal Pictures (http://www.facebook.com/UniversalPictures) and the movie itself (https://www.facebook.com/thechangeup). Although there are reports that negative comments on these social media sites are being removed, it's still worthwhile to add yours for them to see. Likewise, you can share your feelings on your own Facebook page and/or Twitter account, asking all of your friends and followers to please not go see the film.
Though it is unlikely that Universal will pull the movie, as they have millions already invested, changes and/or additions can be made to the film before its release on DVD, as occurred with "Tropic Thunder". Consider writing the producer and director at the addresses below, and in your own words sharing with them why you find the language in their film so hurtful. Also, while you may or may not wish to ask them to pull the film, please definitely ask them to edit the film prior to its release on DVD to remove the outrageous scene mentioned above. Failing that, you can ask that they add a PSA from Special Olympics "End the Word" campaign, or the NDSC's "We're More Alike" series.
Neal H. Moritz David Dobkin
Producer, "The Change Up" Director, "The Change Up"
Original Film Universal Pictures
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