Nowadays, there has been an increased discussion about appropriateness when it comes to movies and T.V. shows. Fans are now quick to call out any and all actors seen in controversial roles. One such example involves one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood, Robert Downey Jr. While he returned to acting in 2008 with Iron Man, that was also the year things could’ve ended badly for him.
Ben Stiller had cast Robert Downey Jr. to go blackface for Tropic Thunder, a Hollywood satire. However, even after years of the movie’s release, the controversy is still a hot topic for debate. While the actor stated that he did have a bad premonition about the whole thing, actor Jamie Foxx stood up in his support.
Jamie Foxx Backs Robert Downey Jr.
While appearing on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast back in 2017, Jamie Foxx talked about the whole ordeal that comes with reading comments under a project. He believes that if an artist starts giving attention to the hate comments, he just might change the way he does things, and not in a positive way. He added that if he read all the comments, he wouldn’t be able to tell another joke.
“If you read the comments that’ll make you tuck that in. But this is some brilliant – it’s really a cool little thing too. It’s called All-Star Weekend for a reason. It’s about two guys. One guy loves Steph Curry, the other guy loves LeBron James, and all they’re trying to do is get to the All-Star game and it’s like this whole journey of running all these people so it’s dope. But it is some things where it’s like ‘Oooh.’ You could see there’s gonna be some sh”t going on.”
Joe Rogan related his words to when the Iron Man actor went blackface for his role in Tropic Thunder, saying creators can’t do that anymore. To this, Foxx replied saying that fans need to see where it’s coming from. He added that there are real people in the real world who mean real harm. Instead of doing something about that, he stated that it was much easier to target the entertainment industry. Foxx continued to say that people weren’t ready for a real fight, whether it is politics or something else, and that it was easy to pick on actors.
The Power Project actor stated that he called up Downey saying he wanted him to play a Mexican, to which he agreed. However, Downey texted him back later saying he was nervous to play that role. Foxx added that actors should be able to do different characters.
Robert Downey Jr. Was Worried about Tropic Thunder
Downey played an Australian method actor who went through a pigment alteration surgery to play a darker character in a war movie. This particular role of his sparks arguments even after almost fifteen years. During a promotion for Dolittle on the JRE podcast, Downey explained he was quite worried about his role. He stated that both he and his mother had a bad feeling about it.
While he thought that it was a “terrible idea” he went ahead with it because of where his heart lay. He added that Ben Stiller knew what he was doing and that 90 percent of Downey’s black friends loved his portrayal.
“Ben 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. 90 percent of my black fans were like ‘Dude, that was great.’ I can’t disagree with the rest but I know where my heart lies.”
Despite his worries, Downey went on to get critical acclaim for his role and was even nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. However, there isn’t a speck of doubt about the fact that if Tropic Thunder was to be released today, the cancel culture would have a go at it.
The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is available to stream on Spotify.