Social media users were furious last year when they discovered that Robert Downey Jr., beloved A-list megastar and face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for over a decade, had worn blackface in a movie. Immediately, there were demands for him to apologize lest he be canceled for good as the internet recoiled in horror at how such a popular figure could do something so terrible.
Of course, the overwhelming majority of these people had never seen Tropic Thunder, and thus missed the entire point quite spectacularly. RDJ’s Kirk Lazarus was biting satire from the ground up, with the character’s involvement in the story poking fun at Hollywood’s belief that entitled white actors can play whatever role they want regardless of race, creed, religion or gender.
Not only that, but he scored Best Supporting Actor nominations from the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Critics Choice Awards and Screen Actors Guild for his troubles, while the movie itself earned closed to $200 million at the box office, featured a star-studded ensemble cast and was well received by critics, so it’s not like it was a micro-budget experimental indie, either.
MORE FROM THE WEB
Tropic Thunder and Todd Phillips’ Due Date are the only occasions that the MCU’s former Tony Stark has ventured into comedy since his incredible comeback following Iron Man, but insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming that the 55 year-old is actively seeking out another high concept studio comedy to star in, although it’d be safe to say it won’t involve blackface this time.
Of course, the early years of Robert Downey Jr.‘s career were characterized by comedies, but it’s not something he’s tackled too often over the last two decades. Based on the success of his past few efforts in the genre, though, it’s definitely something he should consider exploring again.