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Disability Groups Protest At The Lone Ranger Villian’s Cleft Lip

July 22, 2013

This makes sense to me. It’s not a new issue, but I do agree it is something that should stop being an issue.



The Johnny Depp western The Lone Ranger has attracted ire from disability campaigners over its addition of a prosthetic cleft lip to actor William Fichtner’s face, to enhance the “evil” qualities of his outlaw killer character Butch Cavendish. The official character synopsis reads: “Meet Butch Cavendish. A ruthless outlaw whose terribly scarred face is a perfect reflection of the bottomless pit that passes for his soul.”

Esteban Lasso, executive director of Canadian-based “cleft care” charity Transforming Faces, said in a statement: “It’s disheartening that a major motion picture would perpetuate this negative perception and we hope that in future, birth defects and facial differences will not be used to portray ‘evil’ characters.”

Link to video: The Lone Ranger: watch a clip featuring Johnny Depp Meanwhile, the UK’s Cleft Lip and Palate Association (Clapa) called for a boycott of the film, saying: “Not only is this incredibly lazy storytelling, it’s also sending a deeply harmful message that will impact the 90,000 people that were born with a cleft in the UK as well as others worldwide … A congenital abnormality is not something to be made fun of, a cleft lip does not add to the ‘look’ of a villain, a character like this will not help the public’s perception or understanding of cleft.”

The Lone Ranger is released in UK cinemas on 9 August.

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