Ben Stiller Refuses To Apologise For Tropic Thunder And Says He’s ‘Proud’ Of Movie

Ben Stiller is refusing to apologise for Tropic Thunder and insists that he is 'proud' of the movie.
Credit: Alamy

Ben Stiller is refusing to apologise for Tropic Thunder and insists that he is ‘proud’ of the movie.

The action comedy, which was released in 2008, follows a film crew who are forced to become the soldiers they’re portraying when they’re attacked by a local gang.

Tropic Thunder was well-received and has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 82%. It also grossed $195.7 million at the box office against a budget of $92 million.

But despite being released almost 15 years ago, it’s still facing controversy to this day.

Watch the trailer for Tropic Thunder below…

One of the main criticisms is of Robert Downey Jr. donning blackface for the movie.

The Iron Man star plays Kirk Lazarus, a serious Australian actor who goes to extreme lengths to accurately portray an African-American soldier, in the movie.

Blackface is a theatrical form of makeup which is predominantly used by non-Black people who want to portray a caricature of a Black person.

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At the time of release, this led to some viewers making the decision to boycott the film.

Despite the backlash, Stiller remains ‘proud’ of the movie.

Tropic Thunder features an all-star cast, including Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan, an unrecognisable Tom Cruise, and Robert Downey Jr. – who received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for the film.

As the criticism continues, Stiller has finally decided to speak out and hit back at the critics.

After someone asked the Zoolander star to apologise for Tropic Thunder on Twitter, Stiller responded with a statement.

The Meet the Parents actor said: “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.”

This is not the first time one of the stars of the film has addressed its controversy.

Downey Jr. appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast and opened up about donning blackface in the movie.

The Sherlock Holmes star says: “90 per cent of my Black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great’.”

Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder.
Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of an African American soldier in Tropic Thunder led to the film receiving a ton of backlash. Credit: Paramount Pictures.

He continues: “I can’t disagree with them [the other 10 per cent], but I know where my heart lies.

“I think that it’s never an excuse to do something that is out of place and not of its time, but to me, it was a blasting the cap on [the issue].

“I think having a moral psychology is job one.”

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Downey Jr. adds: “Sometimes, you just gotta go, ‘Yeah I effed up’.

“Not in my defence, but Tropic Thunder is about how wrong [blackface] is, so I take exception.”

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.