Somewhat less frightening to Universal Studios than the poor box office takings of its remake of the Hitchcock classic Psycho, is the possible PR fallout from protests being lodged by a fringe group called The National Stigma Clearinghouse. The organization believes Psycho unfairly perpetuates stereotypes about the mentally ill.
'We recognize that the old Psycho is an American icon,' wrote member Nora Weinerth in a letter sent to many media outlets. 'And yet the (Norman) Bates character had entered the mainstream of American popular culture as a symbol of the mentally ill predator, just as the word 'psycho' had become synonymous with 'homicidal.' For persons with mental illness plus our loved ones, the word 'psycho' is a slur, a knife in the heart, a reminder of how far we have yet to go.'
Universal execs declined to comment as they were too busy trying to counteract a report from a test screening that read, 'No one seemed scared or startled by the film.'.