Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with an odd bit of news. It looks like the trailer for Aardman Animation's (WALLACE AND GROMIT) THE PIRATES has rubbed a few leprosy groups the wrong way. There (was) is scene in the film where the pirates board a ship filled with leprosy victims and a whole slew of jokes are made at their expense. Leprosy groups swarmed on the Bristol based animation mega giant including Lepra Health In Action and the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP) with concerns that if the film were to contain the scene, those suffering from leprosy would feel alienated and the stigma that they must deal with on a day to day basis could be increased exponentially amongst youngsters.
So what does Aardman do? They switch the boat being filled with lepers to a boat being filled with scientists. I'm not quite sure how that effects the film, but it's Aardman, so I'll trust they know what they're doing. Aardman released this statement on the matter:
“After reviewing the matter, we decided to change the scene out of respect and sensitivity for those who suffer from leprosy. The last thing anyone intended was to offend anyone and it is clear to us that the right way to proceed is to honor the efforts made by organizations like ILEP to educate the public about this disease." - Aardman Animation.
- Mike McCutchen