Alzheimer's Organisation Warns Christie Against Oscar Jokes
Officials at the U.S. Alzheimer's Association have called on JULIE CHRISTIE and others to show some sensitivity towards the disease at the Academy Awards on Sunday (24Feb08). Christie, who is nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of an Alzheimer's disease sufferer in Away From Her, upset the organisation last month (Jan08) when she made an insensitive onstage joke while collecting the Best Actress prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. After thanking select members of the movie's cast and crew, Christie said, "And if I've forgotten anybody, well, it's just that I'm still in character." With two movies - Away From Her and The Savages - dealing with Alzheimer's and dementia up for Oscars, mental health campaigners want stars at Sunday's ceremony to tread carefully when discussing the diseases. Peter Braun of the Alzheimer's Association tells the Los Angeles Times, "It is no laughing matter. People don't laugh about cancer, people don't laugh about AIDS. "We call on the Academy to use this moment for good, as it has done for so many other social causes."