The 2008 action/comedy Tropic Thunder has started trending again for an unexpected reason. The film, which was directed by and stars Ben Stiller, features a group of actors who head deep into the jungle to learn discipline on a Vietnam movie that's budget has spiraled out of control. Although it's one of the supporting roles that's caught the attention of the internet lately.
Robert Downey Jr., the same year he made his big-screen debut as Iron Man, played Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder. A revered Method actor, Lazarus undergoes a "pigmentation alteration" to appear black for his role in the in-movie war flick, which is also called Tropic Thunder. Given the satirical nature of the humor, the idea of a white man essentially appearing in blackface is one of the movie's central gags. Although that didn't stop a small crop of Twitter users who are demanding Downey apologize for the 12-year old role.
Woke teenagers discovering Tropic Thunder is my favorite tweet genre pic.twitter.com/cyLsnpFnDg— 🔥 VITO the Out-Of-Work Comedian 🔥 (@VitoGesualdi) April 30, 2020
It's also not the first time the film has been criticized. Back when it was still in theaters, a line Downey's character utters about playing the mentally handicapped was publicly derided as insensitive by more than 20 advocacy groups. However, after a recent outcry over Downey's appearance, and Twitter became a hotbed of Tropic Thunder opinions.
no i didn't see tropic thunder will someone please tell me what about the movie could possibly make robert downey jr's blackface acceptable— (nsfr) shane is the struggle tweet (@wkwardparacadet) April 30, 2020
(voice hoarse with repetition)
rdj's blackface in tropic thunder is an outsized commentary on white actors playing POC & an indictment of hollywood going out of its way not to cast black actors in roles of substance, but also isn't for white audiences to gauge its offensiveness.— 𝔸 𝕃 𝔼 𝕏 "stay home" 𝔾 ℝ 𝔸 𝔻 𝔼 𝕋 ! (@menace2snacks) April 30, 2020
I don’t careeeee if tropic thunder was “satirical and meant to show blackface in a negative light” bc im damn sure we didnt need a white man covered in brown paint to remind us— mira (@gyllenhalal) April 30, 2020
How did I know that a soon as I saw Tropic Thunder trending it was about RDJ doing blackface. The entire point of it is satire at the concept, that method acting sometimes causes actors to make awful decisions. Also at the establishment not casting POC when they should.— Gray Goo Girl 🏳️🌈⚧️ (@graygoogirl) April 30, 2020
If you’re angry about the whole Tropic Thunder “blackface” issue, you very obviously haven’t watched Tropic Thunder to understand what the hell was going on as to why it was done and you need to re-evaluate what things you get angry about.
God forbid you watch a Mel Gibson film.— Michaela Laws (@VAMichaelaLaws) April 30, 2020
The decision to do blackface in tropic thunder was stupid, we don’t need a movie where an actor does Blackface for us to know it’s racist. We already know it’s racist, stop making excuses to do it— sana📿 (@mcuwakanda) April 26, 2020
Stop white people we don't need your opinion on everything. Wanna be mad about everything. Tropic Thunder was hilarious. Robert Downey Jr. was black, no one can tell me other wise. #suckmyunit pic.twitter.com/Z5g8hPfkEi— Aza Manga (@MangaAza) April 30, 2020
Tropic Thunder is one of the greatest and smartest comedy films ever made.— Stephen Ford (@StephenSeanFord) April 30, 2020
Guys. There are actual people in the world RIGHT NOW that are mad at Robert Downey Jr for “doing blackface” in Tropic Thunder. pic.twitter.com/7HHrYyPGuM— Zach Jacobson (@Kid_Cubi) April 30, 2020
People don't remember in Tropic Thunder.
When RDJ acts "black" the ACTUAL black guy gets offended and tells him how he is a white idiot.
He was playing a WHITE ACTOR PLAYING A BLACK GUY.
The joke was that it was obvious blackface and it was incredibly bad acting. pic.twitter.com/CgACW9w8xy— Loser (@Namegoeshereplz) April 30, 2020
I judge everybody who doesnt understand that Tropic Thunder WAS NOT BLACKFACE! It was a critique of black face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU SOUND REALLY DUMB WHEN YOU CALL IT BLACK FACE BECAUSE IT WAS NOT!!!— 👑 🥂Genghis Kellz (@KMJeezy) April 30, 2020
Twitter hating on tropic thunder:
Everyone who loves tropic thunder to the woke crowd slandering this great film: pic.twitter.com/Xn4YLc2Mht— Arians/Licht 2020 (@tampabaycray813) April 30, 2020
Maybe, idk, watch Tropic Thunder before coming at it? pic.twitter.com/XAqDCIAL7p— andyfromtoystory (@itsnotcinema) April 30, 2020
*sees the same Tropic Thunder tweet for the 50th time since joining twitter* pic.twitter.com/pBCjT5jtCj— nadja ✨ (@nadjacydney) April 30, 2020
kids just finding out about Tropic Thunder 12 years after it came out and trying to cancel RDJ is the funniest thing to me— $tiletto (@616clique) April 30, 2020
Tropic thunder sales going up when the movie was released in 2008 pic.twitter.com/vZZVQQtfmi— • (@sinc7ty) April 30, 2020