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From Jim Emerson’s blog:

[The set up]

In “Tropic Thunder,” Ben Stiller plays a not-very-talented actor who has made a widely loathed movie called “Simple Jack” (explicitly a parody of Sean Penn’s “I Am Sam”) that failed ignominiously, failing to earn him the Oscar nomination he so desperately, transparently (and cynically) expected. “I Am Sam” and Penn are mentioned by name — as are the Oscar-winning performances by Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man” and Tom Hanks in “Forrest Gump.”

[the turn]

And yet, according to an article in Monday’s New York Times: “A coalition of disabilities groups is expected as early as Monday to call for a national boycott of the film ‘Tropic Thunder’ because of what the groups consider the movie’s open ridicule of the intellectually disabled.”

[the twist]

Perhaps, since boycott’s only increase attention paid to a film the coalition is feigning offense in order to drive up the box office numbers thereby expanding the effectiveness of the critique…

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August 2008
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