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Resident to protest 'Tropic Thunder'

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By The Staff

A Campbellsville resident will protest the movie "Tropic Thunder" because of its depiction of a character with disabilities.

A group of self-advocates, disability rights activists and families of people with disabilities have joined to denounce the portrayal of people with intellectual disabilities in the film, which opened nationwide last Wednesday.

The film, which has sparked boycotts and demonstrations across the country, features a character named "Simple Jack," who is referred to as a "retard," "moron" and "imbecile" in the movie.

Arc of Kentucky, a community-based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, announced a campaign to address the movie last week.

"We are urging the general public not to spend their hard earned dollars on this film because of its deplorable and demeaning view of a person with intellectual disabilities," Campbellsville resident Tia Francisco said.

Francisco began her protest of the movie at Green River Cinema 6 last Wednesday and says she will continue it throughout the week.

"This is an opportunity to educate our neighbors about the rights of people with disabilities - most importantly to live with the same dignity afforded every other American."

Francisco, whose serves as an advocate for her daughter, said, "As a so-called 'normal' person, I have heard the word 'retard' bandied about without much forethought. It has always bothered me. Now, as the mother of a child with an intellectual disability, I want her to be free of the 'r' word in her life.

"I live and work in the community and treat everyone I meet with respect. All people, but especially those [who] cannot speak for themselves, deserve that same respect."

For more information about Arc, visit www.thearc.org or call Francisco at 789-0966.