Ben Stiller Offers ‘No Apologies’ For “Tropic Thunder” After 15 Years


Ben Stiller is sticking by his debatable comedy “Tropic Thunder.”

57-year-old Stiller spoke to fans via Twitter on Tuesday. He makes “no apologies” for the R-rated 2008 comedy.

“I make no apologies for Tropic Thunder. It’s always been a controversial movie since when we opened. Proud of it and the work everyone did on it,” he wrote.

The movie contains several controversial components. One includes Robert Downey Jr., who plays the role of an Australian actor, Kirk Lazarus. He has cosmetic surgery to darken his skin so that he could play the role of a Black army sergeant. In the movie-within-a-movie plot, Lazarus consistently wears blackface outside of recording. He also receives criticism by a Black actor for it.

In the past, Stiller, who starred in, directed, and co-wrote the movie, still supported “Tropic Thunder.” In 2018, he discussed how the controversial film was criticized when it was first released. During that time, “Tropic Thunder,” led to boycotts from several disability advocacy groups, including the Special Olympics. This was because there was a word used to disparage mentally disabled people. It was also for scenes where Stiller plays an actor, Tugg Speedman, who plays the part of a mentally disabled character named “Simple Jack.”

In the movie, Stiller, Downey, and Jack Black play hapless actors who unintentionally go into a real warzone as they are filming a war movie.

“I got to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do on occasion,” Downey stated during a podcast in 2020, noting his motivation for taking the role.

“Ben, who is a masterful artist and director…knew exactly what the vision for this was, he executed it, it was impossible to not have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie. And 90% of my Black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great,” he added.



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