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New movie Starring actors with disabilities

The film “Champions,” follows the story of a professional basketball coach who finds himself on the outs and has to serve community service. As we’ve seen in a number of sports comedies in the past, the community service that he’s forced to serve is as a coach for a Special Olympics basketball team.

No matter the pure intentions that are clearly behind this film starring Woody Harrelson, it’s hard to imagine it being released without some controversy.

The film is directed by Bobby Farrelly, the man behind such raunchy comedies as “Shallow Hal,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Me, Myself, and Irene,” and “Dumb and Dumber.” Given his track record in the past with sensitive material, such as people with intellectual disabilities, you have to wonder how he plans to navigate the humor of this film.Currently there are opposing views of whether “Special Olympics” is a hero or villain in the world of disability. It was started as a summer camp for kids with intellectual disabilities because in the 1950’s, many were institutionalized and of those who remained with their families, few were allowed to attend school. In an inclusive world, a “special” team wouldn’t be needed, as kids with disabilities would participate in the same activities as their peers. Perhaps Special Olympics is simply the mirror that reflects society’s continuing biases and serve to promote “inspiration porn” and highlights “othering”? The world we are currently living in may still have a place for Special Olympics until more lasting change for inclusion is made.

As for how the actors are portrayed? Take a chance and see it and form your own opinion.

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