Seizure Joke in ‘Tower Heist’ Trailer Has Prompted an Apology from Brett Ratner

It’s getting to be tough to tell a joke these days. 

After Ron Howard apologized for Vince Vaughn using the word “gay” as an adjective in the trailer for The Dilemma there has since been a number of comics — such as Tracy Morgan and Adam Carolla — who have been publicly criticized for their material targeting the LGBT community. 

It appears now that there are other groups speaking out about humor at their expense, as Brett Ratner, director of the upcoming comedy Tower Heist, has apologized for Eddie Murphy‘s character calling Ben Stiller’s character “little seizure boy” in the trailer twice.

The apology game after prompting by Lost actor Greg Grunberg, whose son is epileptic, who posted on Twitter that he thought the line was in bad taste and called for a boycott.  Ratner apologized and has asked Universal to remove any “offensive” jokes from the television spots for the movie.  Grunberg accepted Ratner’s apology and ended his so-called “personal boycott,” adding, “The movie is filled with all of my favorite actors.  It’s a funny concept for a movie, [but the joke is] irresponsible, ignorant and not funny.”  Despite disappearing from the trailer, like the “gay” quip in The Dilemma it doesn’t seem like Murphy’s joke will be removed from the actual film.   We’ll leave it up to you whether or not the joke was in bad taste — frankly it’s difficult to judge such a thing unless you’re in the shoes or closely related to someone who is in the targeted community — but certainly this is a growing trend in entertainment.  What are your thoughts on including humor that could be deemed offensive in films?  Then again, is there such a thing as inoffensive humor these days?

Here’s the trailer:

Via The Hollywood Reporter

1 Comment

  1. Ken Murray via Facebook

    September 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Good thing we have freedom of speech, oh wait

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