The 2008 film Tropic Thunder has been criticized for its portrayal of people with mental disabilities, as well as black people.
Tropic Thunder was directed by Ben Stiller and in which he also acted, it focuses on a group of actors who film a war movie in which they play stereotypical and offensive characters, one of these being the one played by Stiller, who is a actor who plays a person with mental disabilities, via insiders.
The 2008 action comedy, which also starred Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black, drew criticism for its portrayal of people with disabilities and Downey’s use of blackface. This has meant that since its premiere, the film has been branded as racist, something that has happened again.
On Tuesday, Stiller responded to a Twitter user who asked the actor to “don’t apologize for making this movie“. “It was and still is fun AF“, the user tweeted. “Even more fun now with cancel culture the way it is. It is a movie. They can get over it. I was DEAD laughing when I first saw her back in the day and everyone else was too“.
“No apologies for ‘Tropic Thunder’“, wrote the actor. “I don’t know who told you that. It’s always been a controversial movie ever since we opened. I’m proud of it and the work everyone did on it.“. “Tropic Thunder” follows a hapless group of actors filming a war movie after they are thrown into the jungle and forced to survive using their questionable acting skills when they stumble upon a real-life war zone.
In the film, Stiller plays Tugg Speedman, an action movie star who thinks he can win an Oscar playing a farmer with an intellectual disability, as well as a bowl cut, buck teeth, and a stutter.
The same Twitter user resurfaced an old Stiller tweet from 2018 in which the actor discussed the boycott surrounding the film when it was released. Following the film’s release in August 2008, 20 disability advocacy groups objected to the use of a word used to put down people with intellectual disabilities.
“Actually, Tropic Thunder was boycotted 10 years ago when it came out, and so I apologized.Stiller tweeted in 2018.It was always intended to make fun of actors who would try to do anything to win awards. I stand by my apology, the movie, Shaun White, and the great people and work @SpecialOlympics“.
Meanwhile, Downey played Kirk Lazarus, a method actor who darkens his skin to play a black soldier. The actor previously said that he was initially reluctant to accept the role, which earned him a best supporting actor Oscar nomination in 2009.
“He knew exactly what the vision for this was. He executed it. There was no way it wasn’t an offensive nightmare of a movie.Downey said in 2019 on an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience“. “And 90% of my black friends said, ‘Dude, that was great.When Rogan asked about “the other 10%,” Downey said: “I can’t disagree with them, but I know where my heart was.”