Seth MacFarlane’s weekend box office winner “Ted” steps over the line of political correctness. The comedy starring Mark Wahlberg has riled a group over a joke about Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ALS Therapy Alliance, a non-profit group that is attempting to find a cure for the disease, known formally as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), issued a statement scolding the filmmaker.
During one scene, Wahlberg’s character tells the rancorous animated teddy bear Ted, “From one man to another, I hope you get Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
The comment was no laughing mater to the Alliance. Traci Bisson, a spokesman for the group said the film “is sending the wrong message” about ALS, adding that it’s “not a laughing matter for people and families suffering from this life-threatening illness.”
To make matters worse, the group has spotted the line being repeated on Twitter, which means kids have picked up on it and are mocking the disease like the movie.
Gehrig played first base for 17 seasons for the New York Yankees (1923–1939) and held major league records for most career grand slams (23) and most consecutive games played (2,130), later eclipsed by Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. .
His career was cut short when he developed the disease. Today (July 4) marks the 73rd anniversary of Gehrig’s farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. The disease is genetic in origin and eventually causes paralysis and death. There is no cure.
Bisson says the group main interest at this point is preventing “this alarming (Twitter) trend before it becomes too widespread” and turns the deadly disease into a joke.
Ted finished at No. 1 with $54.4 million in gross ticket sales. The filmmaker should make a donation at the very lease.