Saturday, August 1, 2009

EDITORIAL: Tell Universal and its Corporate Partners to Jump off a Cliff

Movie Calls Polish People Dumb Boycott All Universal Movies, Resort
by Mark Kohan, Editor - Polish American Journal

Universal Studios has released new comedy, “Land of the Lost.” In it, Will Ferrell, who plays a nerdy professor Rick Marshall, explains the T-Rex dinosaur is stupid:

“Forget the Polish, it’s the tyrannosaurs that are the real dummies.”

Universal, by the way, calls this movie “a family comedy.”

Before “Land of the Lost” came out, reviewer Sheila Roberts of asked Ferrell if he thought the insult would get the attention of the Polish community. His response: “I would be flattered if there was. Yeah. I know, it’s so funny.”

He said the reference to Poles through Rick Marshall (his role in the movie) helped to define his character’s “nerdy mind.”

Sure, we understand that Ferrell was only trying to label his character as an idiot, but he could have refused to say the line. Do you think he would have said “Forget the Jews,” or “Forget the Blacks”? The answer: no. Why?: because Hollywood is afraid of backlash, which means money out of its pockets. So why does it pick on the Poles? The answer is obvious: Poles accept these insults as status quo. We are easy targets because we forgive and forget too easily. Well, if you want your grandchildren – who more than likely did not grow up putting up with Polish jokes – to think “Polish” equals “stupid,” then jump to the next story.

“Land of the Lost,” was directed by Brad Silberling, and written by Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas. It is a Universal Pictures release. Universal is owned by General Electric, which also owns NBC television. If you were planning a vacation to any one the Universal Studio resorts, we urge you to change your plans. Universals corporate partners include: American Express, Arrowhead Water, Coca-Cola, GE Money, Minute Maid, Powerade, and Xerox. Until Universal drops this line from the movie, do not support these companies. If you have the time, write to them and let them know why.

Letters of protest can be written to: Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, Universal Studios, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608-1002. Phone: (818) 777-1000. E-mail: Keep your letters short and to the point. Do not weigh them down defending our heritage. We don’t have to defend it to anyone, least of all Zucker and Universal.

Most critics are panning the movie and called Ferrell’s performance “uninspired.” That’s little consolation now that it has been released. Your letters and boycott, however, will make GE, Universal and others in Hollywood reconsider whether such defamation is worth the cheap laugh.