Ben Stiller’s comedy “Tropic Thunder,” starring Stiller alongside Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr., isn’t even scheduled to hit theaters until August 15th, but television commercials promoting this controversial (and that’s being mild) film have already started running.
The film follows a group of actors filming a Vietnam War movie when their fed-up writer-director (Steve Coogan) decides to dump them in the middle of a real war.
At the center of discussion is actor Downey’s character Kirk Lazarus, a white Australian multiple Academy Award-winning method actor who portrays Sgt. Osiris, a Black man.
So we have a movie starring a white actor whose portraying a white actor who plays a Black guy and all of this is being done in blackface.
Leave it up to Hollywood to figure out how to further destroy the image of the Black male and the career of the Black male actor in one film. All of this while using an actor who if he was Black, would have been out of work after being convicted of drug crimes, but since he’s white, he’s allowed to carry on as business as usual making more money now than before his drug convictions.
Now you tell me how much work CSI’s Gary Dourdan should be expecting after being booked on suspicion of possessing illegal substances heroin, cocaine, ectasy and prescription drugs? Keep in mind, these are some of the exact same drugs that Downey was convicted of possessing on multiple occasions.
And that’s just the half of it. We haven’t touched the issue of bringing blackface to the silver screen for entertainment verses educational purposes.
“Tropic Thunder” is a comedy, not a drama, featuring a white man in blackface.
For the record, it’s offensive for anyone white to perform in blackface and no, Hollywood doesn’t get to decide or to tell me what I should or should not find offensive.
Looking at the visual promotions for the film, I noticed that the top line reads “Stiller Black Downey Jr.“
But at the end of the day, you and I both know that Hollywood doesn’t give a damn about what is offensive to Blacks unless it affects their bottom line come opening day. And apparently they must be predicting big money from “Tropic Thunder” because the film isn’t slated to open in theaters until August and they’re already running promos for it on national television.
Today it’s Robert Downey Jr. in blackface, this could very well be the beginning of the end for Black actors in Hollywood. I mean if they can use white actors to play Blacks in films, actors that in their minds do a better job of acting Black than we do, what the hell do they need the real thing for?
The only thing that could top that is for Downey to win an Image Award for his role as Sgt. Osiris, but I seriously doubt that’s going to happen.