NEW YORK – Disney's new flick Bubble Boy was blasted yesterday by a support group for victims of immunodeficiency, which says it pokes fun at the deadly disorder.
"It's the cruelest depiction of any disease I've ever seen," said Fred Modell, president of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, an advocacy group that provides patient support for those suffering from the disease.
"I can't believe Disney would make a movie that is so offensive to so many people."
Primary immunodeficiency is a hereditary disease that is characterized by the body's inability to fight infection.
Bubble Boy, which hits theaters Friday, is a comedy about a bumbling teenager who travels around the country while confined to a plastic bubble.
Modell said he wants the Walt Disney Co. to donate money to help educate the public about the realities of the disease.
David Vetter, a 12-year-old Texas boy, died in 1984 after a lifelong battle against the ailment, and at the time was known as the Bubble Boy because of the protective plastic suit he had to wear. It forever linked the nickname with the illness.
Seinfeld aired a famous episode in 1992 about a spoiled bubble boy who annoyed everyone with his bratty behavior.
"My friends will be watching this movie and laughing at my disease while I spend hours in hospital getting transfusions," said Jason Shuman, a 10-year-old boy from Boston who suffers from the disorder.
"When I saw the movie, I was furious. I was crying. They were taunting my disease. It's not right."
Disney did not return calls seeking comment.