Well, that was fast: Mere days after first drawing attention on a disability issues blog (and eventually going under magnifying glasses at the NY Times and here at Defamer HQ), DreamWorks's mock Web site for Simple Jack is gone. The site had been part of the studio's complex interweaving of Tropic Thunder tie-ins, with its "Once upon a time... there was a retard" tagline tipping the story of a disabled farmhand whom Ben Stiller's character portrays in pursuit of an Oscar. But activist Patricia Bauer's vigil continued, culminating late Monday with a handy restitution checklist for Stiller, DreamWorks and their distribution partners at Paramount:
·Paramount/Dreamworks should pull all references to the words "retard," "imbecile," "moron" and "idiot" from the movie, DVD, trailers, promotional material and merchandising; ·Paramount/DreamWorks should pull all scenes and clips that include Ben Stiller's portrayal of Simple Jack from the movie, DVD, trailers, promotional material and merchandising; ·Ben Stiller, DreamWorks and Paramount should apologize ... ·Paramount/Dreamworks should commit to consulting people with disabilities during the development process about scripts that portray them...And the list goes on, though this last point is problematic: Tropic Thunder does not depict "people with disabilities," but rather Stiller's portrayal of a bad actor depicting someone with disabilities — a grievous Hollywood standby for which Sean Penn, Cuba Gooding Jr., Dustin Hoffman, Juliette Lewis and that guy from Gigli among sundry other 'retards' of varying severity all owe far more urgent apologies. Anyway, isn't Diablo Cody connected with this somehow? She's always to blame for something around here. Apologize already, would you?