Manufacturer Agrees To Remove "Retarded" Phrase From Talking
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 1, 2005
CENTURY CITY, CALIFORNIA--Disability advocates are congratulating a merchandising company for responding to calls to stop producing and marketing products with objectionable language to school age children.
Fox Licensing & Merchandising announced at the end of last week that they would halt shipping of talking dolls and pens featuring certain phrases from the 2004 film "Napolean Dynamite", until new phrases could be programmed into them.
According to one distributor, the pens say one of seven phrases, including "You guys are retarded" and "Freakin' idiots", when you click on the top of them.
Advocates from groups representing people with intellectual disabilities had started an online petition calling for Fox L & M, along with the stores that offered the products, to ditch them.
Some schools had banned the pens as a form of discrimination.
In a press release from The Arc of the United States, Fox announced that it would retool the pens. Additionally, proceeds from the retail sales of shipments that had already been sent would be donated to organizations that advocate for the rights of people with developmental disabilities.
"We in no way intended to offend or hurt anyone," Fox is quoted as saying. "We apologize and we'll work to ensure this doesn't happen again."
"Local mom wants 'Napoleon Dynamite' pens banned" (Wethersfield Post)
Petition: Stop the Sale of "Napoleon Dynamite" Pens