A new film by the makers of Wallace and Grommit, has had to axe a scene which makes a joke about people with leprosy, after a complaint by campaigners.
The Leprosy Mission objected to the scene in ‘The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists’, the new film from Aardman Animations, starring the voice talents of Hugh Grant.
The film which is due to be released in March, contained a scene depicting a character on board a 'leper boat' whose arm falls off.
The Leprosy Mission objected to this, saying it was “for comic effect”, leading the company to announce that the scene would be removed “out of respect and sensitivity”.
Peter Walker, National Director of the Leprosy Mission, said: “People affected by leprosy face the triple whammy of disease, disability, and discrimination. This ill-conceived character was in danger of reinforcing all these to a young audience, thus perpetuating negative stereotypes.”
Millions of people across the world suffer with leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, and so many people felt the film was offensive, that an online petition was created, calling on Aardman to erase the scene.
Now film makers have apologised, and altered the film to make it acceptable. Although it has not yet been revealed how the scene has been changed,campaigners have been assured that it will now be acceptable to people affected by leprosy.
This Sunday, 29th January, marks World Leprosy Day.
January 27th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross