Special needs

Do you get upset by inappropriate language in movies?

Amy is fed up with Hollywood flicks using insensitive terms like "short bus"

By Amy Baskin
Do you get upset by inappropriate language in movies?

Credit: HaarFager via Flickr

Jack and I are chilling on the couch, looking for a little light romantic comedy on Netflix. So we stumble upon the flick What Happens in Vegas with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher. And, sure, it looks a little ditzy, but we’re fried and looking for a laugh.

To summarize the plot, Diaz is aghast when she wakes up and realizes she married a guy she just met while drunk and partying in Vegas. Horrified by her new hubby, she hurls insults at him. Some of her brilliantly witty (ahem) lines include: “I’m going to save that for my non (r-word) husband.” And then Diaz calls Kutcher “short-bus.”

We grab the remote and end our misery. Short bus. Yeah. In case you don’t get the reference, Diaz called her onscreen hubby the “special-needs” bus. Funny, but those little yellow school buses are awfully important to a lot of kids, including mine. In her elementary years, Talia walked to our neighbourhood school. But she rides to high school in a short bus.

I’m fed up. I’m tired of hearing characters in popular movies hurling around the “r” word and the “short bus” phrase, which is just a slyer way of being equally insensitive. Now if I was Cameron Diaz, I would refuse any movie roles that required me to use such demeaning language. I would use my powers and wealth to look for the good, not evil.  

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard the “short bus” comment. While visiting my brother and family in Colorado, we all went whitewater rafting together. As we paddled, another raft from a competing company got close. The two rafting guides started bantering. All good and fun. Then the other guide yelled out to ours: “Hey, bet you rode the short bus at school!” I felt sick.

On an ironic note, many students on the “short bus” happen to be in the intellectually gifted program. Since they often travel to schools outside their neighbourhood, they too join the short bus.

So, a shout-out to Cameron Diaz. Honey, if you’re reading this blog, and I KNOW you do, take my advice: stop acting in movies with language that hurts people!

There. That felt better.

Photo by HaarFager via Flickr

This article was originally published on Feb 01, 2012

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