A coalition of mental health advocacy group sees nothing funny about Jim Carrey's new movie, Me, Myself & Irene.
The National Mental Health Association, which includes about 350 organizations nationwide, is protesting what they say appears to be a negative portrayal of the mentally ill.
"The sad thing is that any other group of Americans portrayed in a stigmatized, inaccurate way would not tolerate" such a portrayal, Michael Faenza, the coalition's president and CEO, said Friday.
Twentieth Century Fox, which is distributing the movie, declined comment.
In the movie, Carrey plays a Rhode Island police officer who has two personalities, one of them violent.
The character is incorrectly identified as having schizophrenia instead of multiple personality disorder, Faenza said.
Schizophrenia affects an estimated one percent of the world's population. Most sufferers are nonviolent and many can control their symptoms through medication, according to the NMHA.
"Having a famous, gifted movie star make fun and portray schizophrenia in ways that are inaccurate, funny, and then spooky is a big step backward," Faenza said.
The NMHA wants Fox to remove the tagline "From Gentle to Mental" and use of the word "schizo" from all advertising before the movie's June 23 general release. It also wants the studio to air a public service announcement indicating where people can get help for mental illness before each screening.
"I hope they find creative ways to give back to the community that helps people with mental illness, instead of making fun of them," Faenza said.
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