January 16, 2015
Dear Mr. Östlund and Mr. Hemmendorff,
We are writing to you as ethnic Mongolians regarding your film “The Guitar Mongoloid”, which is being shown as part of film festivals in New York, Maryland and California.
We are deeply concerned and hurt by the use of the term “mongoloid” in the context of your film and are requesting that you change the name of the film in the nearest future, out of respect to the Mongolian people and to the international Down syndrome community.
The term “mongoloid”, referring to people with Down syndrome, was dropped by the World Health Organization in 1965 because it was and still is considered to be offensive to those of Mongol ethnicity.
Furthermore, in many countries, the word has come to be used as a term of offense. There are many campaigns around the world trying to stop the hurtful and offensive usage of “mongoloid” and to promote the original meaning, namely, “related to the culture, language and people of Mongolia.”
We do not expect you to reconsider your decision to show the film. However, we request the following:
- That you tell the audience from today’s – Jan 16, 2015 – New York 9.15pm screening onwards that the term “mongoloid” is offensive both to Mongols and to the international Down syndrome community and that you are extremely sorry to the Mongolian and International Down syndrome community, and are planning to change the name of the film in the near future.
- Edit in the same disclaimer in the future screenings of the film. Have a staff member of theatres to read the disclaimer when showing the film without disclaimer.
- Put the same disclaimer on the internet, especially in the film description on your websites.
- Change the name of the film out of human kindness and compassion in support of vulnerable members in society and dignity and respect of another culture and nation with rich history and its own place in the world.
Please read more about the use of this offensive term at the link:
Thank you, in advance, for your sensitivity to this issue. We look forward to your response.
– Mongolians NYC Community
– Mongolian Association in the UK
– “Tsahim Urtuu Holboo” TBB (NGO) online community of Mongolians around the world