What makes for a great joke? Is it the result of timing? Is it the product of situational analysis from a quick mind? Or is simply making fun of people with debilitating neurological disorders?
If you ask Bret Ratner, it's all of the above. In the trailer for his upcoming star-studded caper comedy "Tower Heist," the director included some low blows against the epileptic community, much to the dismay of activists (and a few people who just believe in the value of human compassion).
In a scene where Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller are catching up pre-heist, Murphy mocks Stiller, referring to him as "seizure boy."
The scene has drawn criticism from viewers, most notably "Heroes" star Greg Grunberg, whose teenage son suffers from epilepsy. Still taking his hero status seriously, the actor tweeted, "TERRIBLY OFFENSIVE TRAILER for#TowerHeist – Making fun @ people w/ seizures is NOT FUNNY & WRONG! "Seizure Boy!" REALLY? #Boycott RT."
Ratner has taken the message to heart, according to Entertainment Weekly. Ratner issued an apology just days later, saying, "I am so sorry you are offended ... I sincerely feel bad," a statement Grunberg posted on the website for his epilepsy awareness foundation, Talk About It.
Grunberg has since reconsidered his boycott of the movie, tweeting, "THANKS @BrettRatner for ur SINCERE APOLOGY to the Epilepsy Community!”