The Wolf of Wall Street slammed by disability group over cerebral palsy joke
Story by Jack Foley
MARTIN Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street has landed in hot water again.
The controversial film has been slammed by a group that serves people with disabilities for including a joke that compares the effects of drug-taking to having cerebral palsy.
The Arc has teamed up with United Cerebral Palsy in the US to deliver a joint statement condemning the film, its director and stars for “failing to do better”.
The statement – from Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc, and Stephen Bennett, president and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy, reads: “The Wolf of Wall Street is getting a lot of attention for how it offends audiences on many levels, but one aspect that hasn’t been discussed is its use of the R-word and its unacceptable mockery of people with cerebral palsy. Hollywood just doesn’t seem to get it.
“Among moviegoers who have paid to see The Wolf of Wall Street in recent weeks are people with disabilities, their parents, siblings and friends. It’s time for Hollywood to wake up and see that their customers deserve better.”
Bennett added: “While we understand that the film’s content is deliberately distasteful and excessive, it does not excuse it. It is astonishing that the film’s producers, director and actors deemed this kind of language and portrayal to be acceptable – they can do better, and we urge them to.”
The comments are the latest in a long line of criticisms being levelled against the film for apparently glorifying the behaviour of its Wall Street criminals.
But both the film’s stars (DiCaprio and Jonah Hill) and director have come out in its defence, with DiCaprio – who won a Golden Globe for best lead actor in a musical or comedy – describing it as “an indictment of the world” it represents.
The Wolf of Wall Street opens in UK cinemas on Friday (January 17).