The universe is talking to us now… in the form of a very direct tweet from Ben Stiller, who won’t apologize for one of his most infamous films.
The writer-director said this week that he has no regrets about his 2008 satire “Tropic Thunder,” the controversial action comedy about a hapless gang of actors who try to shoot a movie in a war zone and end up fighting in the fray. The movie saw Robert Downey Jr. wearing blackface to play a quirky Australian Method actor seeking awards who has undergone a “pigmentation change” procedure to reprise his role as a black soldier in the film. (“I play a part within a part within a part, so I know who I am,” explains Downey’s Kirk Lazarus.)
“Zoolander” and “Meet the Parents” star Stiller made his final comments in response to a fan tweet asking him to stop apologizing for the blockbuster Hollywood spoof.
“Please stop apologizing for making this movie. It was and still is funny AF… Now even funnier with cancellation culture as it is. It’s a MOVIE. You can just get over it. I DIED laughing when I first saw it back in the day, and so did everyone else,” the fan wrote, sharing a screenshot of a tirade about liberals trying to get the movie cancelled.
But Stiller agreed to correct the user who attributed the mea culpa to the movie director and co-writer, tweeting, “I don’t apologize for Tropic Thunder. Don’t know who told you that. It’s always been a controversial movie ever since we opened. Proud of it and the work everyone has done on it.”
However, Stiller, 57, who played a mentally challenged character in “Tropic Thunder,” did indeed issue an apology in 2018 regarding the film. those who were offended by Olympian Shaun White’s “insensitive” Halloween costume based on Stiller’s Tugg Speedman
“Actually Tropic Thunder was boycotted 10 years ago when it came out, and then I apologized,” Stiller tweeted at the time. “It was always meant to make fun of actors who would do anything to win awards. I stand by my apologies, the movie, Shaun White, and the amazing people and work of the @SpecialOlympics.”
By the way, “Tropic Thunder,” which also starred Tom Cruise, Jack Black, Steve Coogan, Brandon T. Jackson, Nick Nolte, and Danny McBride, still earned Downey a supporting actor Oscar nomination, as well as Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Awards nods.
But the “Iron Man” and “Avengers” star was a little more uneasy about his role in the movie, though he’s said so too he doesn’t regret it.
“I started thinking, ‘This is a terrible idea, hold on,'” Downey said on a 2020 episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. “Then I was like, ‘Wait a minute dude, get real here, where’s your heart?’ My heart is I’m allowed to be Black for a summer in my mind so there’s something in it for me the other thing is that I’ve got to see the insane self-righteous hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do once in a while against the may go into nature, just my opinion.
“(Ben) knew exactly what the vision was for this, he executed it, it was impossible not to have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie,” the actor continued. “And 90% of my black friends said, ‘Dude, that was great.’ I can’t disagree with (the other 10%) but I know where my heart is I guess it’s never an excuse to do something that’s out of place and out of time but for me it popped the cap (the issue). I think having a moral psychology job is one. Sometimes you just have to go, ‘Yeah, I messed up.’ In my defense, ‘Tropic Thunder’ is about how wrong (blackface) is, so I’ll take an exception.”