IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Maureen McCormick won't see ‘Thunder’

Maureen McCormick, Marcia on "The Brady Bunch," says she won't see the comedy "Tropic Thunder" because it uses a slur for a mentally challenged person. McCormick has a mentally challenged brother.
/ Source: Access Hollywood

Maureen McCormick has pledged not to see Ben Stiller’s “Tropic Thunder,” joining a host of disability advocate groups who have protested the movie over its use of the “R-word.”

“I haven’t seen the new Ben Stiller movie ‘Tropic Thunder’ – and I won’t go see the movie because of what I’ve heard — but I want to add my two cents to the opinions on whether it’s offensive to the mentally challenged,” the former “Brady Bunch” star wrote on her blog on “I know Ben Stiller has said that he’s making fun of actors, not people with disabilities. Still, the movie is geared toward a younger crowd and I fear a lot of those teenagers and college students will leave the theater thinking ‘r*****’ is [an] okay word to use. It’s not. It’s taken years to get people to stop using that word.”

A host of organizations called for a boycott of the film. The organizations, in particular, have taken offense to a scene in the film between Ben Stiller’s character, actor Tugg Speedman, and Robert Downey Jr.’s character, actor Kirk Lazarus. As Speedman and Lazarus take a break from filming a Vietnam war action film, they discuss Speedman’s recent role-playing a person with special needs in “Simple Jack,” a fictional film Stiller’s character starred in. During their banter, the two talk about how to play a person with special needs, regularly using the “R-word.”

McCormick, a supporter of Best Buddies (an organization designed to enhance the lives of those with intellectual disabilities), and a person who has a mentally handicapped brother, said the use of the “R-word” is cruel.

“When we were growing up all I heard was the word r*****. People called him that and other cruel names,” she blogged. “It was terribly painful for both of us — and it still is painful to remember those instances. I’d hate to think of other people going through the same thing.”

The stars of “Tropic Thunder” however, have defended the film, claiming they did not mean to offend.

“I think (the protests are) unfortunate,” director Ben Stiller told Access at the premiere of the film. “We were always pretty clear with ourselves in terms of what the point of view [was], of where the comedy was coming from in the movie. I stand behind the movie and I would hope that the people who have a difference with it… first of all, that the people who organized the protest would actually go see the movie, ‘cause in the context of the film I think it’s very clear that the humor’s at the expense of the actors and I in no way wanted to offend anybody with it.”

Gail Williamson of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, who has seen the film, had a message for director and star Stiller.

“Think outside your own little world. Look at those of us who have struggled. I have a son who is 29 who has Down Syndrome,” she told Access. “I’ve worked really hard to create his life and he’s an actor and he’s out there working as well. And Ben is not even considering that these people are trying to get work and do the same thing he’s doing.”

Jack Black, another “Tropic Thunder” star, also told Access at the film’s Los Angeles premiere, they meant no harm in making the film.

“I think anyone that sees the movie will see that it’s, it’s just — there’s no harm meant to anyone and it’s just a very funny movie.”