(NEW YORK) -- There is plenty to laugh at in the trailer for the movie Tower Heist, but actor Greg Grunberg finds nothing funny about one particular exchange between characters played by Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller.
In the scene, Murphy refers to Stiller as “little seizure boy” not once, but twice, poking fun at Stiller’s character for a childhood ailment. But for anyone who suffers from epilepsy or is prone to seizures, it is no laughing matter.
Grunberg’s 15-year-old son Jake has epilepsy. In fact, Grunberg has an organization devoted to raising awareness about epilepsy called talkaboutit.org. So when he saw the trailer for Tower Heist, the former Heroes star was shocked and let his 1.4 million Twitter followers know when he tweeted, “TERRIBLY OFFENSIVE TRAILER for #TowerHeist - Making fun @ people w/ seizures is NOT FUNNY & WRONG! "Seizure Boy!" REALLY? #Boycott RT.”
"Five million people in this country have or are dealing with seizures and epilepsy. Then you look at their caregivers and their family members -- that's a good 20 million people out there who are going to be offended by this line, and it would be irresponsible of me to not say something as the parent of a child with epilepsy to not speak out and say, I think it is absolutely absurd and offensive," the actor told ABC News Radio.
“The movie is filled with all of my favorite actors,” Grunberg tells ABC News Radio. “It’s a funny concept for a movie,” but he’s disappointed with a joke he calls “irresponsible, ignorant and not funny.”
When discussing Universal Pictures, the film's distributor, Grunberg says, “I love that company,” but he would like an apology.
“Just for them to reach out to the epilepsy community and say, ‘We mean no personal harm to anybody,’ which of course they don’t.” He continued, “They probably just don’t even realize the people they are offending and how this could possibly offend people.”
Grunberg says he is also perplexed at how the quip could have been included in the movie’s marketing strategy.
“Let’s be honest, these are the top comedy writers in the world, top comedy performers in the world -- this is not the best that they can do. Let's try to be a little more responsible.”
Tower Heist is set for release on Nov. 4, 2011.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio