Robert Downey Jr. defends Tropic Thunder after receiving criticism for wearing blackface in movie

Robert Downey Jr. has long defended Tropic Thunder after receiving criticism for wearing blackface in the 2008 movie.
The 58-year-old actor starred as Kirk Lazarus in the action-comedy film.

Also starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Tom Cruise, it follows a film crew shooting a war movie when the actors end up getting attacked themselves and are mistaken by a gang of local drug dealers.

The movie was a hit at the box office - ranking in an impressive $195.7 million.

And Downey Jr.'s character, who is a pretentious method actor, wears blackface for the role of Sgt Lincoln Osiris - a choice which is constantly criticized by Alpa Chino (Brandon T Jackson).

However, the film has still received some backlash years down the line.

And as a result, the Oppenheimer star has come out publicly multiple times over the years to defend the choice.

In February 2023, the actor said he didn't regret playing the role - even though he had a bad feeling about it at times.
And recently, Downey Jr. sat down on Rob Lowe’s Literally! podcast - where he made comparisons to Norman Lear’s iconic sitcom All in the Family, which also tackled racism themes.

"I was looking back at All in the Family, and they had a little disclaimer that they were running at the beginning of the show," he. said.

"People should look it up, exactly what it is, because it is an antidote to this clickbait addiction to grievance that [people seem] to have with everything these days."

The All in the Family disclaimer, Variety reports, read: "The program you are about to see is All in the Family. It seeks to throw a humorous spotlight on our frailties, prejudices, and concerns.
"By making them a source of laughter, we hope to show — in a mature fashion — just how absurd they are."

"The language was saying, ‘Hey, this is the reason that we’re doing these things that, in a vacuum, you could pick apart and say are wrong and bad," Downey Jr. added.

"There used to be an understanding with an audience, and I’m not saying that the audience is no longer understanding — I’m saying that things have gotten very muddied.

"The spirit that [Ben] Stiller directed and cast and shot ‘Tropic Thunder’ in was, essentially, as a railing against all of these tropes that are not right and [that] had been perpetuated for too long."

Stiller has also previously defended the movie - saying he makes 'no apologies' and he was 'proud of it and the work everyone did on it'.

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