Highlighting examples of the common use of the R-word by celebrities and public figures in local and national media outlets.
DreamWorks' "Tropic Thunder" (Aug 13, 2008)
DreamWorks' "Tropic Thunder," marketed as a satire about Hollywood actors and the movie industry in general, contains scenes promoting the idea that a "retard" is funny. Special Olympics, along with a coalition of national disability organizations, mobilizes a grass-roots campaign against "Tropic Thunder," holding protests across the country.
Madonna (Oct 21, 2008)
On stage in front of 20,000 fans, Madonna refers to ex-husband Guy Ritchie as an "emotional retard."
Kristen Stewart (Nov 1, 2008)
In response to avid fans of the book series, Twilight's Kristen Stewart says "You guys are celebrating something that has not come true yet. So, you are really retarded."
Kris Allen (Mar 2, 2009)
Of his experience on American Idol, singer Kris Allen stated in an interview, "You know, it was kind of a lot of practicing in the room by yourself and making sure you don't look like a retard or an idiot on stage in front of a million people."
US President Barack Obama (Mar 20, 2009)
While on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," President Barack Obama discusses his bowling abilities and claims "It's like the Special Olympics or something." Before the episode even aired, President Obama issued an apology to Tim Shriver and the Special Olympics community.
Guy Ritchie (Oct 8, 2009)
In response to his relationship with ex-wife Madonna, Guy Ritchie stated "I still love her, but she’s retarded too."
Madonna (Oct 14, 2009)
In a Rolling Stone Magazine article Madonna states, "The songs that I think are the most retarded songs I've written, like 'Cherish' and 'Sorry,' a pretty big hit off my last album, end up being the biggest hits. ‘Into the Groove' is another song I feel retarded singing, but everybody seems to like it."
Rahm Emanuel (Jan 28, 2010)
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is quoted as saying "f—ing retarded" in reference to an ad campaign proposed by liberal allies. Rahm Emanuel issued a formal apology and dedicated his support to the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign.
Jennifer Aniston (Aug 19, 2010)
While appearing on "Live with Regis and Kelly," actress Jennifer Aniston dropped the R-word while discussing a recent photo shoot. She said, "I play dress up. I do it for a living, like a retard."
Martin Harty (Mar 11, 2011)
New Hampshire state legislator Martin Harty suggests sending ‘Retarded’ to Siberia. For more information see: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2011/03/11/lawmaker-siberia/12557/
Lady Gaga (Apr 20, 2011)
Lady Gaga refutes song plagiarism by telling NME Magazine that the accusation is “retarded."
Kirstie Alley (Apr 27, 2011)
Kirstie Alley tweets “[…] I HATE spell check and my retarded index finger.”
LeBron James (May 7, 2011)
NBA star LeBron James mutters “that’s retarded” in response to a reporter’s question to Miami Heat teammate Dwayne Wade.
A.J. Burnett (Jun 9, 2011)
New York Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett responds to post game questions about his past successes against the Red Sox as "retarded."
Tracy Morgan (Jun 27, 2011)
Comedian Tracy Morgan uses the R-word multiple times in his stand-up comedy routine.
The Change-Up (Aug 8, 2011)
Universal Studios comedy "The Change-Up" uses the R-word as a derogatory punchline. Read the story.
The Descendants (Nov 30, 2011)
George Clooney and Alexander Payne's hit movie, "The Descendants" may hurt families with special needs by gratuitously using the R-word as a punch line.
John Lackey (Mar 27, 2012)
Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey calls the 'fried chicken and beer' controversy "retarded" in an interview with The Boston Globe.
Jim Roddey (Aug 7, 2012)
Allegheny County GOP chair Jim Roddey tells an insensitive R-word joke at an election party as 300 audience members holler and clap in approval.
Ann Coulter (Oct 23, 2012)
Ann Coulter tweets “I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard” following the third Presidential debate.