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Disability Groups Complain About The Wolf Of Wall Street

January 15, 2014

The drunk/CP thing is common- in fact it happened to me just recently. Drugs is a new one, to me at least, but there is no excuse for mocking it- very few people with CP find it funny when people think we are drunk and was anyone ever to think I was on drugs, I would find it even less funny.

Martin Scorsese‘s financial-era-excess movie The Wolf of Wall Street has come in for yet more criticism – this time from disability-advocate organisations who have protested at its use of the “R” word and its suggestion of drug-induced “cerebral palsy” type behaviour.

Peter Berns, CEO of disability group the Arc and Stephen Bennett, president and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy, issued a joint statement saying: “The Wolf of Wall Street is getting a lot of attention for how it offends audiences on many levels, but one aspect that hasn’t been discussed is its use of the R-word and its unacceptable mockery of people with cerebral palsy. Hollywood just doesn’t seem to get it.”

Berns and Bennett are referring to two uses of the word “retard” in The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as a third scene where Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Jordan Belfort is describing his drug experience as reaching the “cerebral palsy phase”.

The statement continues: “Among moviegoers who have paid to see The Wolf of Wall Street in recent weeks are people with disabilities, their parents, siblings and friends. It’s time for Hollywood to wake up and see that their customers deserve better.”

The film-makers have not yet specifically addressed this complaint, but have previously defended The Wolf of Wall Street as “a cautionary tale”, with Leonardo DiCaprio saying: “I hope people understand we’re not condoning this behaviour, that we’re indicting it … if you sit through the end of the film, you’ll realise what we’re saying about these people and this world.”

This followed a stream of complaints against the film, accusing it of glamorising a criminal lifestyle, resulting in Scorsese being heckled at a special screening for Academy award voters.

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