With more and more people calling out celebrities for their past acts of doing "blackface," Robert Downey Jr. finds himself in hot water for his role in the 2008 film "Tropic Thunder."
In the said comedy flick, RDJ played the role of an Australian actor who had to undergo "pigmentation alteration" in order to play a black character in a war movie they were making. The role sparked controversy, but those who actually saw the film didn't find it offensive -- especially since the movie was satirical in nature.
In fact, Downey Jr. was widely praised for his portrayal in the film and was even nominated for the Best Supporting Actor award at the Oscars, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards (although he lost in all nominations).
However, this 2020, with the recent protests against racism and social injustice, some people are bringing RDJ's role back in "Tropic Thunder" and asking everyone to cancel the "Iron Man" star for blackface.
I would really like to know why robert downey jr hasn’t been cancelled yet. Did it happen and I missed it? Cause I would honestly like to see him, the director, and producer get dragged for Tropic Thunder. #BlakeLivesMatter #blackface #makeitmakesense #canceled #rdjoverparty — kay️ (@Kkayyjay) June 17, 2020
Shouldn’t Robert Downey Jr be cancelled for wearing black face in the movie Tropic Thunder? pic.twitter.com/Eu1R2YyQBG — DJ BOZ (@djboz79) June 12, 2020
So when is Robert Downey Jr getting cancelled? pic.twitter.com/8ZTOlgKiVO — Brian Bóru (@LordBlackBreath) June 11, 2020
Sure enough, not everyone agrees with canceling Robert Downey Jr. for his role in the 12-year-old flick. Some even defended him, pointing out that it's comedy and shouldn't be taken seriously. Put simply, it was just a form of entertainment that is not meant to ridicule the black culture.
"Modern young folks don't understand the second way of making fun of human behavior anymore. Still plenty of young Americans who wonder why Robert Downey Jr wasn't canceled for playing a character in a movie who went in black face," one fan wrote.
Another fan said: "Same reason why Robert Downey Jr didn't get cancelled for blackface in Tropic Thunder. His character was an insane method actor, not the black guy he was playing in the movie. Subtle but important difference."
It's understandable why people find films such as "Tropic Thunder" offensive, especially considering the current soical climate. However, it is also easy to argue for some that it's a form of entertainment and context should be considered rather than looking at the act alone.
The cancel culture in the internet has been widespread already, so it certainly won't be surprising if more people push to cancel RDJ.