What is the current general opinion of the use of amputees for special effects in films?

I’m aware that amputees are still used in films occasionally for special effects purposes (e.g. Pirates of the Carribean 3, Tokyo Gore Police). How often does this happen? Is this practice frowned upon? Do amputees tend to see this as being horribly exploitative and offensive?

Why would it be deemed so?

Do you think they would take the job if they found it horribly exploitative and offensive? There are whole talent agencies that specialize in nothing but missing-limbed actors. It can pay pretty well, even for bit parts.

If I was an amputee, I’d deem it a good way to earn a few bucks.

Exploitation is only a concern when the people being hired are mentally incompetent to act in their own best interests.

How is it any different from any other physical trait needed for a role?

What is meant by “special effects purposes”? To blow off an artificial limb and make it lool like the real thing?

Pretty much. Also, amputees and little people are sometimes needed to fit into monster suits of odd shapes.

An amputee was used as a stunt double for John Cleese in Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
Wikipedia article.

First, let me say that I don’t think it’s exploitative or offensive. These are legitimate roles. (Although I will note that a character in Forrest Gump who lost his legs was portrayed by CGI rather than a genuine double amputee.)

Interesting argument. People try to make the same argument for prostitution.

Yes. Yes they do.

Can’t believe I’m the first one to mention Silent Running! I remember seeing that on TV as a kid and knowing enough about special effects to think, ‘How the hell are they doing that?! Are those robots miniatures, puppets?’

Years & years later when I saw Forrest Gump at the movies I didn’t realize CGI had gotten that good (nor was Gary Sinise very famous) so I thought he had to be an amputee actor. Also the big special effects of that film were inserting Hanks into famous archival footage, so the ‘limb removal’ effect slipped under the radar.

The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946) featured Harold Russell who was an early amputee in movies.

I find using amputee actors no more offensive than casting calls that specify that the actors who will be considered must have red hair or have a slim build. It is a physical characteristic, nothing more nothing less.

I don’t imagine it matters * how * they lost the parts.

There’s a bit in John Carpenter’s “The Thing” where a doctor leans down on a torso to operate a heart defibulator. <SPOILERS> Of course, it’s really a “thing” and the torso opens up to reveal a huge toothed mouth which bites off the doctor’s arms. The effect shot was accomplished by employing a real life double amputee who lost his arms in an industrial accident - as advised by Rob Bottin with some glee on the making of it documentary…

It’s not really necessary since anything and everything can be done with CGI these days. Hell, Forrest Gump came out in 1994 (practically ancient times by tech standards) and they were able to CGI out Lt. Dan’s legs even then (yes, in fact Gary Sinise does have legs in real life).

A more recent use, in the recent version of True Grit:

The adult Mattie Ross was played by a woman with a missing arm. (Sorry, but it’s a key plot point.)

The stuff I read about it didn’t suggest the actor thought anything wrong about it in the least.

Well, on one hand …

As long as the limb(s) wasn’t/weren’t removed just for the sake of the film, I have no problem with the idea.