Even Aardman aren’t immune to complaints against their humour. The brains behind Wallace and Gromit, have cut a scene from their latest comedy after a joke about leprosy was branded distasteful.
Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists isn’t due to hit cinemas in the UK until March, but a scene in the trailer has been cut after several campaigners banded together to criticise the gag, accusing the studio of “laughing at the millions disabled by leprosy.”
The Wallace & Gromit bosses hastily tweaked the scene out of “sensitivity” and “respect” for those offended.
Only that move has been criticised too! Laura Midgley from the Campaign Against Political Correctness (CAPC) has accused Aardman of “losing its sense of humour.” Basically either way they are in the wrong.
The joke in question goes like this: Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) demands gold from the crew of another ship, to which a crew member replies: “Afraid we don’t have any gold old man, this is a leper-boat.” His arm promptly falls off and he says: “See.”
The charity LEPRA Health in Action promptly expressed its disappointment in the scene arguing:
“It might make you laugh but leprosy stigma not only hurts, it is still forcing people to live a life on the fringes of society … is it acceptable for us to be laughing at the millions of people who are disabled by leprosy?”
No more or less acceptable than the stereotypical pirate with a peg-leg or patch-covered eye, but no one seems to complain about that.
Midgley of CAPC calls the entire thing an over-reaction. “The film passed all the board certificate tests and no-one flagged up a problem, yet they have decided to go back and change it.”
LEPRA on the other hand is touched Aardman responded so apologetically, and have praised them for their acknowledgement of “human rights”.
Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists very British cast includes, Martin Freeman, Brian Blessed, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant and Ashley Jenson.
So what do you guys think: was the joke in bad taste or is political correctness going a step too far?
You can see the cut joke in the trailer below: