We told you this morning about the disability groups upset over the portrayal of “Simple Jack” as a “retard” in the upcoming DreamWorks film, Tropic Thunder. We noted that the fake Simple Jack Web site and trailer had suspiciously disappeared.
Sources close to the situation tell us that DreamWorks decided to take down the site and trailer after realising that, viewed out of context, both could seem insensitive to people with disabilities. The site and Simple Jack teaser poster, still floating around online were the only widely-accessible marketing materials referring to the fake film.
The disability groups with which DreamWorks is meeting Wednesday night did not ask the studio to take the site down, but we hear that the studio thought it was the right thing to do until they heard the offended organisations’ concerns. Our sources also emphasised that Tropic Thunder was not designed to make fun of people with disabilities but instead satirize egotistical actors like Ben Stiller’s character, Tugg Speedman, who portrayed Simple Jack.
It seems that the Simple Jack promotional materials were merely the latest example of viral marketing gone wrong, up there with The Dark Knight‘s bomb-like cakes and those Cartoon Network cartoon bombs.
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