Knoxville girl boycotts movie because of insensitive comments

By: Allison Kropff Email
By: Allison Kropff Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Reviews for the movie, "The Change Up" were average, but reviews from people right here in Knoxville are much worse.

We talked to a 7th grader who says you should boycott the film because it makes fun of people with disabilities.

Here are letters from the National Down Syndrome Society to the director and producer of the movie, "The Change Up."

They express concern about comments made in the film. Now a Knoxville girl is boycotting the film and has created a petition of her own."

For two weeks, "The Change Up" has played on big screens across the country. But you won't see 12-year-old Leah Ely in the theater and she wants you to boycott it too.

"I really don't think they should watch it because it seems really inappropriate as it is, then, going ahead and making fun of children with Down Syndrome, it will offend a lot of people and I don't think anybody should want to watch it."

In the film, an actor calls a child "retarded" and says it looks "Downsy." Words that hurt Leah, because her 5-month-old niece Paloma was born with Down Syndrome.

"It just made me really mad because she didn't do anything to these producers and these directors, so why would they want to bash them?"

Leah's mother Michele is proud Leah is involved and hopes others will stand up for people like her granddaughter.

"It isn't right they should be made fun of or that anyone should be made fun of because of a disability."

Leah's taking her petition door to door, trying to get her neighbors to sign on.

"I'm hoping that if we get enough signatures on this petition, I can bring it to movie theaters to get them to realize there are going to be a lot of people not going to watch it."

Leah has made several calls to movie theaters, but only gets answering machines. She always leaves her number and email in hopes of getting a response some time soon.

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