The Word That Matters

17 Jan

I posted this very quick opinion piece on my Facebook account earlier.  I wanted to share it via the more public Twitter-sphere, but I shan’t be expanding on it further, unless demand requires it.

I read this news story on the BBC this morning: Aardman trailer ’causes offence’ to leprosy charity. It has been causing quite a ruckus on the interwebs, more ruckus than it deserves.

Now, I’ll be honest, when I watched the trailer (You can watch The Pirates! movie trailer here on the official website.) I laughed. Why? Because it’s funny. And I’m not ill-educated about leprosy. In fact, I know shit loads about leprosy, as someone who studies osteoarchaeology.

I can sort of see where they’re coming from, but I think they’re going at it all wrong. I tweeted about it to Lepra Health in Action saying, “@LEPRA_HinA can use this opportunity to educate about #leprosy. The #Aardman ‘controversy’ has put your charity in the limelight. #notsobad” And to be fair, they retweeted it – but I think they might believe I’m a huge supporter of their cause (re: what Aardman did was wrong). And I’m not.

Their chairty is doing good (and needed) work to raise awareness of a pretty awful disease, but seriously, if peeps are going to get all pissy about things like this, than the next thing you know the physicists are going to be in a huge uproar about how misrepresented the laws of physics are in animated childrens’ movies (as demonstrated by the frankly absurd antics of the whale in this Aardman trailer) and it is going to be setting back years of science education in schools. My opinion (take it or leave it): have a sense of humour Lepra and use that sense of humour to spread the word that matters.


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