13 January 2009

Essay: Gay is the New Retard

In the most “controversial” scene of last year’s Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey, Jr., playing an actor in blackface, cautions Ben Stiller, also playing an actor, about the dangers of going “full retard." He argues that no actor wins an Academy Award unless the character is only partially handicapped: Rain Man was an idiot savant, Forrest Gump merely “slow”.

The satire cuts like safety scissors. It had been seven years since Sean Penn, the most recent target of the joke, went “full retard” in I Am Sam, earning him an Academy Award nomination. (He lost to Denzel Washington, for the intellectually challenged Training Day.) The mentally handicapped thing is so over; Penn is already on to other things, generating Oscar buzz for his role in Milk as the title’s openly homosexual politician.

Gay is the new retard.

Keep reading at The L Magazine's blog.

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