Stiller doesn’t regret “Tropic Thunder.” The 2008 action comedy starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black was criticized for its disability representation and Downey’s blackface. On Tuesday, Stiller responded to a tweet asking him to “stop apologizing for doing this movie.”
“Funny AF,” the user tweeted. With cancel culture, funnier. Movie. Just move forward. “Everyone and I died laughing when we first saw it.”
Later that day, Stiller responded. “I don’t apologize for Tropic Thunder,” the actor wrote. “Not sure who said that. It’s always been controversial. Proud of it and everyone’s work.”
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“Tropic Thunder” depicts a hapless bunch of actors making a war movie who are thrown into the jungle and have to survive using their questionable acting talents when they stumble into a real-life combat zone.
Stiller plays Tugg Speedman, an action movie star who thinks he can win an Oscar by playing a farmhand with an intellectual impairment, a bowl haircut, buckteeth, and a stutter.
The same Twitter user reposted Stiller’s 2018 tweet about the film’s boycott. In August 2008, 20 disability advocacy groups protested the film’s usage of a derogatory term for intellectually disabled people.
Stiller tweeted in 2018 that Tropic Thunder was boycotted 10 years prior and apologized. It was designed to mock actors who will do everything to obtain accolades. I support the movie, Shaun White, and the @SpecialOlympics.
Downey played method actor Kirk Lazarus, who darkens his skin to represent a Black soldier. The 2009 Oscar nominee for best supporting actor claimed he was initially hesitant to take the part.
“He understood the vision. Executed. “It was difficult not to make an offensive nightmare of a movie,” Downey stated on “The Joe Rogan Experience” in 2019. 90% of my Black friends said, “Bro, that was awesome.”
“I can’t disagree with them,” Downey told Rogan of “the other 10%.”
“There’s never an excuse to do anything that’s out of place and not of its time,” Downey said. “It was just placing a — it was a blasting cap.”
“Sometimes, you just have to go, ‘Yes I effed up,’” the actor stated. “‘Tropic Thunder’ was about how awful that is,” he said.
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