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Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic"

Transformers News: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic"

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 2:38AM CST

Category: Toy News
Posted by: Seibertron   Views: 50,550

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Last week it was revealed that an upcoming Transformers product would bear the name "Spastic". As many of us learned shortly thereafter, the word "spastic" has different meanings depending on your regional location.

This past weekend, Seibertron.com contacted Hasbro to find out if they had an official statement regarding the use of this word as a Transformers product. Here is their official response that they sent earlier on Monday:

Hasbro wrote:Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to respond. The TRANSFORMERS brand intended no offense by use of the name "SPASTIC" for one of its products which has not and will not be available via traditional retail channels in Europe, including the the UK. Thank you once again for notifying us about your concern. As a marketer of children’s products, input from parents, families and fans regarding their experiences with our brands is extremely important to us. Our goal is to have all families who enjoy our brands feel good about their purchases and experiences.


We are waiting a response from Hasbro to find out if the figure will retain the name "Spastic" in North America after finding out from the message above that the item will not be available in Europe. Stay tuned to Seibertron.com for additional information.

Image

The "controversy" over this name usage was covered in the "weird news" section of DailyRecord.co.uk. You can view the article by clicking here.

Here is some additional information about the regional differences of the word "spastic" from Wikipedia.org:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spastic

US usage of the word "spastic"
Wikipedia.org wrote:In American slang, the term "spaz" is largely inoffensive, and is generally understood as a casual word for clumsiness, sometimes associated with over excitement, excessive energy, or hyperactivity. Its usage has been documented as far back as the mid 1950s


UK usage of the word "spastic"
This medical term "spastic" became used to describe cerebral palsy. The Spastics Society, a UK charity for people with cerebral palsy, was founded in 1951.

However, the word began to be used as an insult and became a term of abuse used to imply stupidity or physical ineptness; one who is uncoordinated or incompetent, or a fool.[3] The mental connotation derived from a common misconception that those with any physical disability resulting in spasticity would necessarily also have a mental or developmental disability. It was often colloquially abbreviated to shorter forms such as "spaz".

Its derogatory use grew considerably in the 1980s.
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Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147004)
Posted by Dai_Ceefax on November 16th, 2010 @ 2:57am CST
So now we don't get it at all in the UK?
Just because Hasbro's research dept. dropped a bollock?

#-o

Good job Kapow Toys'll blatently ship some over...
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147005)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on November 16th, 2010 @ 2:59am CST
Uhh, i'm gonna have to agree with the first few comments on here. Spastic isn't that bad, even for the UK take, but even if it is, whoever called it in is a real tool. Give me a break, this is what people spend their time doing? Not to mention, what if the kid gets the toy and loves it. The next day kids are making fun of some other kid by calling him spastic (i guess, pretty unrealistic phrasing imo. but say they do), that kid who loves his spastic figure is gonna have less motivation to side with the other kids reasoning for hate. And all of you comparing 'spastic' to 'n*gger' and 'fag', .... sorry, that isn't a fair comparison at all, spastic is nowhere near any of those.

But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool

:CON:
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147006)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 3:01am CST
MINDVVIPE wrote:But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool :CON:


What do you mean by "whoever called that in"?
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147007)
Posted by NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE on November 16th, 2010 @ 3:01am CST
Oh for the love of god using the word Spaz or spastic is just a term for clumsy...its not like the product is named Rapist and the Stunticons.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147008)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 3:03am CST
NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE wrote:Oh for the love of god using the word Spaz or spastic is just a term for clumsy...its not like the product is named Rapist and the Stunticons.


In the US that's what the word means after it split from its original meanings back in the 1950s. In the 1980s, the word took on an offensive usage in the UK. Kind of like how "fag" means something different in the UK from the US.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147009)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on November 16th, 2010 @ 3:03am CST
Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool :CON:


What do you mean by "whoever called that in"?


Whoever brought Hasbro's attention to the name being insulting.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147010)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 3:04am CST
NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE wrote:Oh for the love of god using the word Spaz or spastic is just a term for clumsy...its not like the product is named Rapist and the Stunticons.


In the US that's what the word means after it split from its original meanings back in the 1950s. In the 1980s, the word took on an offensive usage in the UK. Kind of like how "fag" means something different in the UK from the US.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147011)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 3:05am CST
MINDVVIPE wrote:
Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool :CON:


What do you mean by "whoever called that in"?


Whoever brought Hasbro's attention to the name being insulting.


I contacted Hasbro to see if they had an official statement regarding this after seeing how strongly some UK fans in this topic felt, especially after it made it's way to a British newspaper/news website.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147013)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on November 16th, 2010 @ 3:11am CST
Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:
Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool :CON:


What do you mean by "whoever called that in"?


Whoever brought Hasbro's attention to the name being insulting.


I contacted Hasbro to see if they had an official statement regarding this because I felt it was newsworthy due to how strongly some fans in this topic felt, especially after it made it's way to a British newspaper/news website.


Okay well, then it was a side effect of your search for information, your not a tool then.
And chances are if it was in british newspapers, its already been made aware to hasbro by the tools writing the newspaper articles.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147016)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 3:25am CST
MINDVVIPE wrote:its already been made aware to hasbro by the tools writing the newspaper articles.


Probably not. People love to make news instead of going to the source to find out their thoughts on the matter. I decided to contact Hasbro first before we covered the article that was published last week. I felt that was more responsible than just reporting on DailyRecord.co.uk's article.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147017)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on November 16th, 2010 @ 3:27am CST
Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:its already been made aware to hasbro by the tools writing the newspaper articles.


Probably not. People love to make news instead of going to the source to find out their thoughts on the matter. I decided to contact Hasbro first before we covered the article that was published last week. I felt that was more responsible than just reporting on DailyRecord.co.uk's article.


Yea fair enough, they probably wouldn't have known... but doesn't that show how little it would have mattered? maybe. My point, if any, was that the press just want to make any deal about anything. If they hadn't written those articles I doubt anyone would have cared, and if any did, probably not enough to do or say anything much about it.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147025)
Posted by MYoung23 on November 16th, 2010 @ 4:38am CST
As an African American I can tell that the N-word has always been a demeaning and insulting term. It was never neutral even though it was a corruption of the word Negro.

The fact that people here had to go to wikipedia and didn't know this is a damn shame.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147026)
Posted by Burn on November 16th, 2010 @ 4:50am CST
Kudos to Hasbro for addressing this particular "controversy", goes to show they do listen when they need to.

But is anyone suprised that this pack won't be available throughout Europe?
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147029)
Posted by PrimeGestalt on November 16th, 2010 @ 5:20am CST
Augh! I only just decide to rename him 'Cascade' in my fan-fiction, and Hasbro drops the 'US-only' bomb on me! Now I have to import for the first Stunticon set in decades!

Actually, I might import most of my Transformers sets anyway...particularly if I end up joining the Transformers Fan Club. My point is what's wrong with giving characters different names in different regions if it's used sparingly? Now it's going to shift from complaints about offense to his name to complaints about a lack of release worldwide. In fact, just this once I'll make one of the first complaints just to get the ball rolling: Hasbro, why won't you just change the name for Europe and Oceania so you can release this set worldwide? Some of us outside the US might a) actually want to collect all the Power Core Combiners sets (I'm not lying about that one, trust me ;) ); b) actually LIKE the Stunticons; c) actually be creating Power Core fiction to fill the void until there's actual canonical fiction (like what happened with Beast Wars); or d) actually have alternative names for the rest of the world that you may not have considered (I'm a strong advocate for Cascade).

Whoa...that was a rant?! I better not abuse that power! :lol:
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147030)
Posted by kjeevah on November 16th, 2010 @ 5:28am CST
absolutely despicable. their 'concession' to stop use of the name in europe is meaningless.

it is not a european issue, this name must not be allowed full stop.
t is an old-fashioned word that came to be used in a derogatory sense, and now has taken on that meaning, just the same as nigger. For those saying people are too easily offended and that it's fine to call a transformer 'spastic' (still waiting to see what gems the bio holds..), I assume then that you would be fine with the next toy in the line being called 'Nigger'?

Even without appreciation of the offensiveness, spastic still simply means someone with cerebral palsy, so when for example Tiger Woods said in 2006 'I played like a spaz', he was saying both 'I played in a useless and incompetent way' and 'I played like someone who had cerebral palsy', therefore attaching negative connotations and false stereotypes to people with cerbral palsy.

NOT OK.This is why Tiger Woods had to give a grovelling apology to the media over it. Look it up.

And for those of you who mistakenly believe that this is only a UK term, ADAPT is an american disability rights organisation:

When people say 'you're such a spaz' they're talking about someone with cerebral palsy," says Nancy Salandra from Philadelphia ADAPT. "People use it all the time but they are wrong. It's part of the language now, like retard, but it doesn't make it right."

"I would think that anybody in the disability community would see it as offensive," says Babs Johnson of National ADAPT. "It would be looked upon as someone having a fit or seizure or something like that. Body movements that you're not able to control."
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147034)
Posted by Dead Metal on November 16th, 2010 @ 6:17am CST
Seibertron wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:Comparing the n-word to "spaz" is a poor comparison. One was created with the intent to be demeaning the other was created with a non-offensive intent.

A more appropriate comparison would be with the word "fag".

Also, I have no intent to clarify the nature in which we discuss these words. Clearly this is a matter of simple discourse and not an opportunity to use ugly words in glib fashion.


"Fag" is a perfect example of this situation with the word "spastic" -- but in reverse. Are cigarettes still referred to as "fags" in the UK or is use of "fag" dwindling as a common word for cigarettes?

Yes, at least the places I go to.


Well to the topic of Spastic, it's not just English speaking countries that use the word as a derogatory term, but also Germany, usually spelt as "Spastiker", "Spasti", with the later being even stronger.


I predict that this toy will be freaking expensive down the line, especially in box.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147042)
Posted by Tyrenol on November 16th, 2010 @ 6:47am CST
I remember a long time ago when that Stunticon was called "Dragstrip."

Hey. I'm for "political correctness" in the efforts of keeping adult doujins about girls 9 years or younger off the web where they don't belong. But the least the people in power should do is be a bit more creative. \_(-_-)_/
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147070)
Posted by Caelus on November 16th, 2010 @ 8:22am CST
Jack_Cade wrote:The only difference between the UK and the US is that we've cottoned onto the fact that it's a word charged with hate and discrimination, while US peeps apparently think it's OK so long as you use it in a light-hearted fashion. Sure, go ahead and keep using it as long as you think it's OK that your actions contribute towards people feeling excluded, depressed and sometimes even suicidal. Pretend it's their problem and not yours.

So to be clear, I'm not personally 'offended' when I hear someone call someone else a spastic; I just think "What an utter prick."



I think this is the implied attitude that has a lot of Americans offended in this thread.

It's upsetting to have people come our of left-field and derogate you for doing something you've done for years, having had no reason to believe it was wrong.

The reaction to that sort of dissonance is naturally going to be... ugly.



Edit: Also, Dragstrip? Not the most 'family-friendly' word ever. Not surprised they were trying to get away from it.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147077)
Posted by Counterpunch on November 16th, 2010 @ 8:36am CST
Caelus wrote:
Jack_Cade wrote:The only difference between the UK and the US is that we've cottoned onto the fact that it's a word charged with hate and discrimination, while US peeps apparently think it's OK so long as you use it in a light-hearted fashion. Sure, go ahead and keep using it as long as you think it's OK that your actions contribute towards people feeling excluded, depressed and sometimes even suicidal. Pretend it's their problem and not yours.

So to be clear, I'm not personally 'offended' when I hear someone call someone else a spastic; I just think "What an utter prick."



I think this is the implied attitude that has a lot of Americans offended in this thread.

It's upsetting to have people come our of left-field and derogate you for doing something you've done for years, having had no reason to believe it was wrong.

The reaction to that sort of dissonance is naturally going to be... ugly.



Edit: Also, Dragstrip? Not the most 'family-friendly' word ever. Not surprised they were trying to get away from it.


All good points.

But I do think that "Dragstrip" is a perfectly acceptable term. I mean, that IS the word used for the place where drag racing occurs.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147078)
Posted by Rated X on November 16th, 2010 @ 8:37am CST
This is so RETARTED !!! And I said retarted on purpose because I want to make a point. When I use the word "retarted" I am not trying to insult children with special needs. I am simply using it as a figure of speech that means "STUPID" !!! Can we please stop being so damn politically correct ??? Ever since Janet Jackson had her "wardrobe malfunction" at the Superbowl (which I enjoyed) their has been a outcry for censorship. This is almost as dumb as the HA Jazz package complaint that it promotes alcohol and gambling.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147089)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on November 16th, 2010 @ 9:12am CST
Caelus wrote:Edit: Also, Dragstrip? Not the most 'family-friendly' word ever. Not surprised they were trying to get away from it.


You try fitting a name trademarked as "Decepticon Drag Strip" and keeping it even legible from a distance. ;) Hasbro had no problem with the Universe Special Edition...
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147090)
Posted by Alex Jones on November 16th, 2010 @ 9:19am CST
political correctness gone awry.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147091)
Posted by kirbenvost on November 16th, 2010 @ 9:19am CST
MYoung23 wrote:As an African American I can tell that the N-word has always been a demeaning and insulting term. It was never neutral even though it was a corruption of the word Negro.

The fact that people here had to go to wikipedia and didn't know this is a damn shame.


I didn't need to go to Wikipedia myself, and that's what I was trying to explain, sorry if it didn't come through in my posts.

Caelus wrote:Edit: Also, Dragstrip? Not the most 'family-friendly' word ever. Not surprised they were trying to get away from it.


Only if you're going to have a dirty mind about it. :P

Counterpunch wrote:
But I do think that "Dragstrip" is a perfectly acceptable term. I mean, that IS the word used for the place where drag racing occurs.


Yep.

Soo....Hasbro decided not to release this in the UK, or have none of the PCCs been released? Kind of a lame solution to the problem, no?
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147094)
Posted by Mykltron on November 16th, 2010 @ 9:30am CST
MYoung23 wrote:As an African American I can tell that the N-word has always been a demeaning and insulting term. It was never neutral even though it was a corruption of the word Negro.


Where you around in the days of slavery or do you have references to back this statement up? If you do I'll admit I'm wrong but etymonline says: 'the word in some cases could be used without deliberate insult.'

kjeevah wrote:And for those of you who mistakenly believe that this is only a UK term, ADAPT is an american disability rights organisation:

When people say 'you're such a spaz' they're talking about someone with cerebral palsy," says Nancy Salandra from Philadelphia ADAPT. "People use it all the time but they are wrong. It's part of the language now, like retard, but it doesn't make it right."

"I would think that anybody in the disability community would see it as offensive," says Babs Johnson of National ADAPT. "It would be looked upon as someone having a fit or seizure or something like that. Body movements that you're not able to control."


Good quotes. Thanks for that!

Rated X wrote:This is so RETARTED !!! And I said retarted on purpose because I want to make a point. When I use the word "retarted" I am not trying to insult children with special needs. I am simply using it as a figure of speech that means "STUPID" !!! Can we please stop being so damn politically correct ??? Ever since Janet Jackson had her "wardrobe malfunction" at the Superbowl (which I enjoyed) their has been a outcry for censorship. This is almost as dumb as the HA Jazz package complaint that it promotes alcohol and gambling.


I see people are still being closed-minded :roll: Does the fact that a charity (The Spastic's Society) had to change its name because of the high use of spastic, spaz, spazz, spack and spacker as insults mean nothing to you?
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147121)
Posted by Neurie on November 16th, 2010 @ 10:20am CST
Rated X wrote:This is so RETARTED !!! And I said retarted on purpose because I want to make a point. When I use the word "retarted" I am not trying to insult children with special needs. I am simply using it as a figure of speech that means "STUPID" !!! Can we please stop being so damn politically correct ??? Ever since Janet Jackson had her "wardrobe malfunction" at the Superbowl (which I enjoyed) their has been a outcry for censorship. This is almost as dumb as the HA Jazz package complaint that it promotes alcohol and gambling.


Humm retarded huh? A slowing or impairment leading lack of developement/progress usually associated with machinary.

Yet another word which has been turned in to slang to be belittling and disparidging of people with mental health issues.

The actual toy will be avaiable on import througha few dealers so there will still be avenues for this product in Europe/Oceana regions.

Id be suprised if Hasbro doesnt take the hit and rename it.

PCCs dont sell fantastically in the UK, the two packs are hard to find and the ultras are gathering dust in lots of stores unless theyre on sale.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147124)
Posted by kjeevah on November 16th, 2010 @ 10:24am CST
Rated X wrote:This is so RETARTED !!! And I said retarted on purpose because I want to make a point. When I use the word "retarted" I am not trying to insult children with special needs. I am simply using it as a figure of speech that means "STUPID" !!! Can we please stop being so damn politically correct ??? Ever since Janet Jackson had her "wardrobe malfunction" at the Superbowl (which I enjoyed) their has been a outcry for censorship. This is almost as dumb as the HA Jazz package complaint that it promotes alcohol and gambling.


Well done, you just said the only thing worse than 'spastic'.

It doesn't matter even one tiny slightest bit whether or not you are trying to insult people with learning difficulties. You managed it regardless of your intent. Your intentions do not matter. The feelings of the people you offend do.

According to disabled people, the term that they find the most offensive above all else is 'retard'. The second most offensive is 'spastic'. This is a fact, and your intentions do not change it.

(Source: BBC Ouch! 2003)

If you have a disability your life is already beset with enough difficulty and prejudice without having to deal with ignorance like this.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,511933,00.html
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147125)
Posted by It Is Him on November 16th, 2010 @ 10:28am CST
Razorclaw0000 wrote:Or Lockdown to former convicts? Or Highbrow to people with large foreheads? Or Erector to people with ED? Or Windbreaker to people with irritable bowel syndrome?

Shall I go on?


Wow, I'd wish my girlfriend would call me Windbreaker, but instead she just calls me a Lemon. :D
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147132)
Posted by leokearon on November 16th, 2010 @ 10:53am CST
Does this mean that the PCC Stunticons wouldn't be released over here at all, or just not with the offensive name
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147138)
Posted by Pretender Skywarp on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:05am CST
leokearon wrote:Does this mean that the PCC Stunticons wouldn't be released over here at all, or just not with the offensive name


Not at all, in line with H'UK's usual contempt for the UK market.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147140)
Posted by Name_Violation on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:11am CST
huh, turns out my cats name in an insult... (my cat is named spaz, and nick named spaztic)

seriously people, quit bein up tight. it was a misunderstanding, hasbro admitted it was "their bad", whats next? the fact the toys come in colors offends the color blind?

quit being so sensitive people.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147141)
Posted by Wasp-shot23 on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:12am CST
I understand that in the US the term "spastic" is largely harmless, but in my corner of the world (Great Britain) the word is used by children (remember, the people who this product is made for) in a derogatory sense to those with mental and physical handicaps.
There is no doubt in my mind that hasbro had no malicious intent when this figure was named, just a lack of insight. That does not however detract from the fact that where I live and many other places outside of the land of the free and the home of the brave, that word is offensive and used to victimise vulnerable members of society.
Those who are ignorant to it's European usage should have respect to the views of others and so should hasbro; transformers have been the biggest selling toys (in toys r us stores) in the uk for more than twenty years, so I think that hasbro should pay far more attention to the UK Market And the habits of those who contribute to it by buying their products. These people I speak of are again children, but because they are younger than us does not mean they are more pure or innocent than us, children are far more ignorant to to the true meaning of words and so corrupt them and turn them into offensive terms.
I reiterate my point: kids in the UK use spaz as an offensive word, there is no harmless use of it in the UK, the product in question is on sale to these children and so will offend THEM.
The product name should be changed not just simply taken off order sheets, hasbro needs to pay more attention to it's target audiences (kids and us fans).
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147144)
Posted by Wasp-shot23 on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:19am CST
kjeevah wrote:
Rated X wrote:This is so RETARTED !!! And I said retarted on purpose because I want to make a point. When I use the word "retarted" I am not trying to insult children with special needs. I am simply using it as a figure of speech that means "STUPID" !!! Can we please stop being so damn politically correct ??? Ever since Janet Jackson had her "wardrobe malfunction" at the Superbowl (which I enjoyed) their has been a outcry for censorship. This is almost as dumb as the HA Jazz package complaint that it promotes alcohol and gambling.


You can't even spell "retarded". Look who's talking.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147145)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:22am CST
Some people on both sides of this argument aren't doing a good job at being understanding to our cultural language differences.

As I already said, usage of the word "spastic" in the UK is comparable to usage of the word "fag" here in the States. "spastic", while it originated as a medical term, took on a different meaning here in the US which is more comparable to dork or geek, generally implying clumsiness or "bouncing off the walls" (perhaps hyperactivity) or even "overreacting".

The US people should acknowledge that it is an offensive word in the UK just as the UK people should acknowledge that the word means something different in our countries and shouldn't take offense to our cultural differences. It is an offensive word to the UK folks despite that it means something totally different here in the States, a company selling a product in the UK should be aware of this and sensitive to the local cultures either by having a character with a name that doesn't offend in other countries or by having the character named differently in other countries.

Do the UK people here feel that they should stop calling cigarettes "fags" because it's an offensive or politically incorrect term in the US?
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147146)
Posted by Wasp-shot23 on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:27am CST
Seibertron wrote:Man both sides of this argument aren't doing a good job at being understanding.

As I already said, usage of the word "spastic" in the UK is comparable to usage of the word "fag" here in the States. "spastic", while it originated as a medical term, took on a different meaning here in the US which is more comparable to dork or geek, generally implying clumsiness or "bouncing off the walls" (perhaps hyperactivity) or even "overreacting".

The US people should acknowledge that it is an offensive word in the UK just as the UK people should acknowledge that the word means something different in our countries and shouldn't take offense to our cultural differences. It is an offensive word to the UK folks despite that it means something totally different here in the States, a company selling a product in the UK should be aware of this and sensitive to the local cultures either by having a character with a name that doesn't offend in other countries or by having the character named differently in other countries.

Do the UK people here feel that they should stop calling cigarettes "fags" because it's an offensive or politically incorrect term in the US?


that's a very good point. But something called " fag" isn't going to be on sale to
children.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147147)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:28am CST
To further illustrate to the UK folks how the word "spastic" has taken on a different meaning in the US, here's some text from Wikipedia regarding the word faggot (a kind of meatball) and fags (slang for "cigarette") in the UK:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faggot_(slang)

Wikipedia.org wrote:Originally confined to the United States,[8] the use of the words "fag" and "faggot" as epithets for gay men has spread elsewhere in the English-speaking world, but the extent to which they are used in this sense has varied outside the context of imported US popular culture. The words "queer", "homo", and "poof" are all still in common use in the UK, and some other countries, as pejorative terms for gay men. The words "fag" and "faggot", moreover, still have other meanings in the British Isles and other Commonwealth societies. In particular, "faggot" is still used to refer to a kind of meatball, and "fag" is common as a slang word for "cigarette".
Use of fag and faggot as the term for an effeminate man has become understood as an Americanism in British English, primarily due to entertainment media use in films and television series imported from the United States. When Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews was overheard supposedly using the word in a bad-tempered informal exchange with a straight colleague in the House of Commons lobby in November 2005, it was considered to be homophobic abuse.[14][15]
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147152)
Posted by same138 on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:31am CST
Wasp-shot 23, you beat me to it, "Retarted" indeed! And he mispelt it in capitals so we couldn't miss it!

I picked this little guy up yesterday in Argos in Glasgow under his orange/white "Leadfoot" deco, and he is pretty cool if a bit gaudy. Hasbro don't seem to be giving him much to go on in the name department, do you think they're trying to give him a complex?

PS if any of my fellow Scots are interested Argos had over twenty 2 packs in stock yesterday, Icepick, Sledge and Leadfoot were the ones in stock (and they're reduced to £7!).
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147153)
Posted by Wasp-shot23 on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:35am CST
Seibertron wrote:To further illustrate to the UK folks how the word "spastic" has taken on a different meaning in the US, here's some text from Wikipedia regarding the word faggot (a kind of meatball) and fags (slang for "cigarette") in the UK:

Originally confined to the United States,[8] the use of the words "fag" and "faggot" as epithets for gay men has spread elsewhere in the English-speaking world, but the extent to which they are used in this sense has varied outside the context of imported US popular culture. The words "queer", "homo", and "poof" are all still in common use in the UK, and some other countries, as pejorative terms for gay men. The words "fag" and "faggot", moreover, still have other meanings in the British Isles and other Commonwealth societies. In particular, "faggot" is still used to refer to a kind of meatball, and "fag" is common as a slang word for "cigarette".
Use of fag and faggot as the term for an effeminate man has become understood as an Americanism in British English, primarily due to entertainment media use in films and television series imported from the United States. When Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews was overheard supposedly using the word in a bad-tempered informal exchange with a straight colleague in the House of Commons lobby in November 2005, it was considered to be homophobic abuse.[14][15]

Again, the point is moot, but we're not gonna get a figure called "slag" anytime soon. If hasbro
paid attention to that then why not "spastic", a word which has a meaning far more clear to
children than "slag" does.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147155)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:40am CST
Wasp-shot23 wrote:that's a very good point. But something called "fag" isn't going to be on sale to children.


Or to adults for that matter most likely. I'm assuming that the words "fag" or "fags" doesn't appear on cigarette packaging in the UK. I totally agree with the UK people ... but for their country. Your use of the word "spastic" doesn't mean that we can't use the word as we use it here in the States just as our usage of the word "fag" doesn't mean you guys have to stop using it for cigarettes in the UK.

It is interesting that the UK still uses the word "fag" for cigarettes despite knowing from movies and such that it's a slur in the US through watching our movies and television yet several UK folks here are demanding we stop using the word spastic here in the US despite many if not most of us not knowing it was an offensive word to the UK until last week (Hasbro included).

I also wanted to comment on the FoxNews.com link that appeared a few posts back in this topic. It's Fox News (definitely not "fair and balanced" as their motto would imply) and it's an article about a lady who is using the word in a manner similar to the UK's usage, which is not how we use the word in the US.

When I hear the word "spastic", you know what comes to mind? Looney Toons Tasmanian Devil. I went to Google this term with Tasmanian Devil, and lo and behold, Taz has a descendant in a cartoon named "Spaz B Wilde".

http://www.kidsturncentral.com/topics/tvmovies/loonatics3.htm

Image
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147159)
Posted by Counterpunch on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:45am CST
Seibertron wrote:Man both sides of this argument aren't doing a good job at being understanding.


Except me.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147161)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:47am CST
Wasp-shot23 wrote:Again, the point is moot, but we're not gonna get a figure called "slag" anytime soon. If hasbro paid attention to that then why not "spastic", a word which has a meaning far more clear to children than "slag" does.


I didn't realize "slag" was an offensive term to anyone, other than possibly in the fictional Beast Wars universe.

It was my understanding that they lost the trademark to the word and that the rest was "urban legend" caused by fans.

Or I could be wrong: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&clie ... n&ct=title
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147162)
Posted by Pretender Skywarp on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:48am CST
Seibertron wrote:Man both sides of this argument aren't doing a good job at being understanding.

As I already said, usage of the word "spastic" in the UK is comparable to usage of the word "fag" here in the States. "spastic", while it originated as a medical term, took on a different meaning here in the US which is more comparable to dork or geek, generally implying clumsiness or "bouncing off the walls" (perhaps hyperactivity) or even "overreacting".

The US people should acknowledge that it is an offensive word in the UK just as the UK people should acknowledge that the word means something different in our countries and shouldn't take offense to our cultural differences. It is an offensive word to the UK folks despite that it means something totally different here in the States, a company selling a product in the UK should be aware of this and sensitive to the local cultures either by having a character with a name that doesn't offend in other countries or by having the character named differently in other countries.

Do the UK people here feel that they should stop calling cigarettes "fags" because it's an offensive or politically incorrect term in the US?


Nicley put Boss, this links in with my comment a few pages back about wanting to see the bio.

Hopefully that will give us some insight over Hasbro USA's intent for the name.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147163)
Posted by Wasp-shot23 on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:51am CST
I don't think that the US should stop using the word "spastic" in the sense they do, these colloquialisms of language are what divides and differentiates cultures to make them unique. I do however thunk that the UK should stop using "fags" (the word and the object)
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147164)
Posted by Seibertron on November 16th, 2010 @ 11:52am CST
Counterpunch wrote:
Seibertron wrote:Man both sides of this argument aren't doing a good job at being understanding.


Except me.


Correct. I should have phrased it as "some people on both sides ..." instead of the all-inclusive statement I made above. I edited my previous post to reflect this.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147169)
Posted by Wasp-shot23 on November 16th, 2010 @ 12:03pm CST
Seibertron wrote:
Wasp-shot23 wrote:Again, the point is moot, but we're not gonna get a figure called "slag" anytime soon. If hasbro paid attention to that then why not "spastic", a word which has a meaning far more clear to children than "slag" does.


I didn't realize "slag" was an offensive term to anyone, other than possibly in the fictional Beast Wars universe.

It was my understanding that they lost the trademark to the word and that the rest was "urban legend" caused by fans.

Or I could be wrong: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&clie ... n&ct=title


"slag" in the UK is a term used through it's waste connotations to describe lowlife women or just any woman in a derogatory manner. E.g "how could you sleep with him, you slag!" it connotes that the woman is "dirty" or worthless. It is used in the same sense as whore.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147173)
Posted by Dead Metal on November 16th, 2010 @ 12:14pm CST
Wasp-shot23 wrote:
Seibertron wrote:
Wasp-shot23 wrote:Again, the point is moot, but we're not gonna get a figure called "slag" anytime soon. If hasbro paid attention to that then why not "spastic", a word which has a meaning far more clear to children than "slag" does.


I didn't realize "slag" was an offensive term to anyone, other than possibly in the fictional Beast Wars universe.

It was my understanding that they lost the trademark to the word and that the rest was "urban legend" caused by fans.

Or I could be wrong: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&clie ... n&ct=title


"slag" in the UK is a term used through it's waste connotations to describe lowlife women or just any woman in a derogatory manner. E.g "how could you sleep with him, you slag!" it connotes that the woman is "dirty" or worthless. It is used in the same sense as whore.

And to see it in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meMaeMAGEb4
Lots of swearing and well it's offensive :P
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147192)
Posted by kjeevah on November 16th, 2010 @ 12:54pm CST
Seibertron - there is no 'understanding' needed. It's simple enough, I assume I don't need to re-post the quotes from American disability rights groups explaining how offensive the term is in the US.

It is not an issue of trying to forcefully export culture and language.

And also for the record everyone can safely ignore wikipedia and it's usual fantastic accuracy of information.

'Fag' is just as offensive in the UK as in the US, and 'queer' 'homo' and 'poof' are certainly not in common use by anyone under the age of 60.

The word has multiple meanings though. Faggot also means a type of meatball. Not too long ago it also meant a bushel of wood, and to be 'fagged' meant tired, as an abbreviation of 'fatigued'.

That's what happens when you have a language like English that mangles together multiple foreign languages.. you get duplicates.

Just like I can't bear this Hasbro misconduct, I'd rather be eaten alive by a bear than buy their products.

Spastic is a very different case. It is a single word with a single meaning and origin, the only issue is wether or not people appreciate its origin or care about the offence it causes.. just like retard, nigger, or any other term that is similarly laden with historical negative connotations.

It's like me saying that when I just called you a nigger it wasn't in any way meant to be offensive to black people, I just meant it as a way of referring to you being an uneducated underclass criminal.

That would never EVER be acceptable, it's not 'a different meaning', it's exactly the same meaning but with a rose tinted ignorance of the origins of the stereotype you're peddling.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147200)
Posted by Windsweeper on November 16th, 2010 @ 1:02pm CST
Given the alt mode, obvious homage colour scheme and link to the name Stunticon, why wasn't it called Dragstrip?

Or could Dragstrip be termed offensive to some?

I could perhaps understand why, yet strangely just as the American fans have grown up with the other name in a non offensive context, when I hear Dragstrip, I automatically think of the G1 Stunticon because I grew up with that name, also in a non offensive context. However in this day and age, I could understand some people taking offence to a name that combines 'drag' with 'strip', especially on a child's toy.

I know when I was a kid, I used to enjoy picking TF names out of the dictionary to see what they mean.

If however, Dragstrip were not deemed offensive, I'd love to see it used. Again, if anyone did feel offended, I would respect their feelings on the subject.

On a side note related to the mold, can anyone explain why Leadfoot keeps reminding me of G1 Sureshot? Am I the only one getting that vibe?
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147201)
Posted by kirbenvost on November 16th, 2010 @ 1:07pm CST
What Seibertron's trying to say kjeevah, is that while North American fans need to understand the term is offensive in the UK, UK fans also need to understand that the North Americans had no idea because it's not the same thing over here, hence why we didn't understand the level of outrage. And both sides aren't getting it. That's what he means by 'both sides understanding'.
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147202)
Posted by Counterpunch on November 16th, 2010 @ 1:07pm CST
kjeevah wrote:Seibertron - there is no 'understanding' needed. It's simple enough, I assume I don't need to re-post the quotes from American disability rights groups explaining how offensive the term is in the US.

It is not an issue of trying to forcefully export culture and language.

And also for the record 'fag' is just as offensive in the UK as in the US.


Hey, what the F' is with people in the UK trying to tell people in the US "how it is" in our country? No one is arguing that the word is offensive in the UK. Why is there so much contention that the word is offensive in the US.

It isn't.

Are we supposed to get pissy over the use of the word "lame" to describe things we don't like or find boring?

Are we supposed to get pissy over the use of the 'v' hand symbol for victory when in some countries it's as good as a middle finger?


Evolution of the term in the United States
In American slang, the term "spaz" is inoffensive, as most Americans consider it casual slang for clumsiness, sometimes associated with over excitement, excessive energy, or hyperactivity. Its usage has been documented as far back as the mid 1950s. In 1965, film critic Pauline Kael, explained to her readers, "The term that American teen-agers now use as the opposite of 'tough' is 'spaz'. A spaz is a person who is courteous to teachers, plans for a career..and believes in official values. A spaz is something like what adults still call a square." The New York Times columnist similarly explained to readers that spaz meant "You're strictly from 23-skidoo." Benjamin Zimmer, an Editor for the "American Dictionary" and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Research in Cognitive Sciences, writes that by the mid 1960s the American usage of the term spaz shifted from "its original sense of 'spastic or physically uncoordinated person' to something more like 'nerdy, weird or uncool person.'" By contrast, in a June 2005 newsletter for "American Dialect Society", Zimmer reports that the "earliest [written] occurrence of uncoordinated "spaz" (as opposed to uncool "spaz")?" is found in Elastik Band 's 1965 "undeniably tasteless garage-rock single" "Spazz".

Later in 1978, Steve Martin introduced a character Charles Knerlman, aka "Chaz the Spaz" on Saturday Night Live, in a skit with Bill Murray called "Nerds". Bill Murray later starred in the movie Meatballs which had a character named "Spaz." Both shows portrayed a spaz as a nerd or somebody uncool in a comic setting. Thus, while Blue Peter shaped the modern British understanding of the term, American viewers were being bombarded with a different image. In time, the term spaz, like its counterparts nerd and geek, lost its offensive nature and evolved into a term often used in self-deprecation.

The difference in understanding of the term between British and American audiences was highlighted by an incident with the golfer Tiger Woods; after losing the US Masters Tournament in 2006, he said, "I was so in control from tee to green, the best I've played for years... But as soon as I got on the green I was a spaz." His remarks were broadcast and drew no attention in America. But they were widely reported in England, where they caused offence and were condemned by a representative of Scope and Tanni Grey-Thompson, a prominent paralympian. On learning of the furore over his comments, Woods' representative promptly apologized.

Most Americans were surprised when they learned about the controversy. In fact, at least one American dictionary (Merriam Webster's) makes no reference to cerebral palsy in its definition or word origins. It simply defines "spaz" as a shortening of the word "spastic" and "one who is inept".
Re: Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic" (1147203)
Posted by kjeevah on November 16th, 2010 @ 1:10pm CST
well yes counterpunch, quoting wikipedia with its reknowned exellence of information is obvious way more relavant then the previous quotes, which I obviously need to repost.

This is NOT people in other countries telling you how it is in the US.

This is straight from the mouths of an AMERICAN disability rights group (ADAPT):

When people say 'you're such a spaz' they're talking about someone with cerebral palsy," says Nancy Salandra from Philadelphia ADAPT. "People use it all the time but they are wrong. It's part of the language now, like retard, but it doesn't make it right."

"I would think that anybody in the disability community would see it as offensive," says Babs Johnson of National ADAPT. "It would be looked upon as someone having a fit or seizure or something like that. Body movements that you're not able to control."


So it is Americans - not just Americans but people who work in the field in which the terms is offensive - telling you how it is in the US.

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