Welcome to Illinois

In defence of Simple Jack

Posted in Attitudes to disability, Media by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on November 10, 2009

Amid the furore against Tropic Thunder and the film-within-a-film Simple Jack last year I maintained that “the protesters against Tropic Thunder appear to be either misunderstanding or willfully ignoring the fact that Tropic Thunder is a satire in order to get their point across”.

In Simple Jack, Stiller’s character from Tropic Thunder tries to prove he is a serious actor by playing a disabled character. David Tolleson (executive director of the National Down Syndrome Congress) described the portrayal as “shockingly awful”, missing the fact that that was, in fact, the point.

The point of Simple Jack was to lampoon vacuous actors who see playing a character with disability as proving their credentials as an artist.

With that in mind, I draw your attention to this article about Filipino actress Niña Jose. I had never heard of Jose before reading this article, nor do I expect to again.

From the article we learn two key things about Jose:

  • “My boobs are real.”

and

  • “I just don’t [want] to limit myself to sexy roles. My dream role? I want to play someone who [has] Down’s syndrome. Super challenging.”

I don’t think I need to add anything else at this juncture.

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