Cognitive Disabilities Depicted Negatively

Normalization Bias  
Table Of Contents

Conservative Trope Examples

  • Alan mispronounces the word "retard" and when asked what he meant, mispronounces it again. Doug corrects him and says it's "RE-tard."
  • Monty (Ryan Reynolds) tells Dean (Justin Long) he can "get a job substitute teaching for r*tarded kids or something" after he asked what type of job he could get with an Associates Degree.
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) | Slurs About Cognitive Disabilities on Screen
    A woman asks Andy (Steve Carell) "are you f*cking r#tarded? What the hell is the matter with you?" after he asks her the same question twice during a round of speed dating.
    Staff Aside
    Cal (Seth Rogan) told him to "just ask questions" and apparently he took that literally.
  • Topher Grace playing Topher Grace yells out, "Jesus Christ, are you people retarded? It says Do Not Disturb!" when Rusty knocks on his hotel room door. He trashed his room and talks erratically, "I'm sorry. Russ, look, I know this is your joint. I just... there's this girl. I love her, man. I love her, but she is driving me crazy! I can't sleep. I can't work. I quit the show. I totally phoned in that Dennis Quaid movie. I mean, it's like..."
    Staff Aside
    This is over the top self-deprecating satire about Hollywood actors, but not everyone will realize it. And humor and satire is a great way to subconsciously promote negative beliefs about actors, Hollywood and young people. And do not overlook the fact they picked a young actor over an older one for this role. That was purposeful as false negative stereotypes about young people are easy go-tos for laughs so it would not have been as funny as an older actor.
  • Thurgood (Dave Chappelle) says "you've smoked yourself r*tarded" to Brian (Jim Breuer) after he offers to dress up as a Jamaican and meet with drug kingpin Mr. Sampson.
    Staff Aside
    Brian is white as white can be, so it would be pretty challenging for him to moonlight as a Jamaican.

How Trope is Biased


  • If people with cognitive disabilities are depicted negatively on screen, people will think it's ok to do the same in real life. It normalizes the behavior.

Conservative Biases

  • Liberals are often accused of being overly politically correct by conservatives when championing issues such as people with cognitive disabilities depicted negatively on screen