Cancel culture has become more prominent in recent years, with some entertainers offering apologies for controversial work they have done in the past.
However, Hollywood star Ben Stiller recently said that he has nothing to apologize for when it comes to the movie “Tropic Thunder.”
Movie slammed by race and disability activists
The film features Robert Downy Jr. performing in blackface, something which earned him an Oscar nomination. What’s more, the movie makes fun of Stiller’s character for attempting to portray an individual who struggles with a mental disability.
Breitbart noted that the film was controversial even when it was released a decade and a half ago and faced a boycott by the Special Olympics as well as the National Down Syndrome Congress.
Indeed, Stiller himself put forth an apology at the time and said as recently as 2018 that he stood by his decision to do so.
Actually Tropic Thunder was boycotted 10 years ago when it came out, and I apologized then. It was always meant to make fun of actors trying to do anything to win awards. I stand by my apology, the movie, Shaun White, And the great people and work of the @SpecialOlympics. https://t.co/RqID5jIXP1
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) October 30, 2018
Stiller: “I make no apologies for Tropic Thunder”
However, the actor appears to have changed his perspective, something that is evident from an interaction he had on Twitter this week.
A fan asked him on Tuesday to “please stop apologizing for doing this movie,” adding, “It was and still is funny AF… Even funnier now with cancel culture the way it is. It’s a MOVIE. Ya’ll can just get over it. I was DYING laughing when I first saw it back in the day and so was everyone else.”
Stiller responded with a tweet of his own, saying, “I make no apologies for Tropic Thunder. Don’t know who told you that. It’s always been a controversial movie since when we opened. Proud of it and the work everyone did on it.”
I make no apologies for Tropic Thunder. Don’t know who told you that. It’s always been a controversial movie since when we opened. Proud of it and the work everyone did on it. 🙏✊😊
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) February 21, 2023
Robert Downey Jr. says “90 percent” of black friends liked the film
Stiller is not the only one sounding a defiant tone with regard to “Tropic Thunder,” as co-star Robert Downey Jr. did the same in 2020.
The website IndieWire reported that Downey told podcaster Joe Rogan how “90 percent” of his African American friends “were like, ‘Dude, that was great.'”
“I can’t disagree with [the other 10 percent], but I know where my heart lies,” the actor continued. “I think that it’s never an excuse to do something that’s out of place and out of its time, but to me it blasted the cap on [the issue].”
“In my defense, ‘Tropic Thunder’ is about how wrong [blackface] is, so I take exception,” he added.