Racial Backlash Over Upcoming Film?

Published 7 years ago by

There’s a movie that seems to be in the early stages of causing an uproar over a racial issue. Apparently in this movie, someone of one race will be wearing realistic makeup to make the character seem like he is of a completely different race.

Besides the obvious outcry that this is demeaning, is the accusation that work has been taken away from someone of the target race who could just as easily have been hired to play the part in the film.

If you’re curious about what I’m talking about, see below.

white chicks Racial Backlash Over Upcoming Film?
The African American Wayans Brothers play two white woman in White Chicks

I can totally see the outrage over this, I mean with all the white, young blonde actresses trying to get a break in Hollywood, how could these guys possibly be so racist as to take work away from who could be the next two big starlets of Tinseltown? I mean… um, what?… You mean this isn’t all about White Chicks? There was no outcry over the race reversal in that movie?

Oh… sorry. My bad.

I guess the worry is about a different movie. This summer another comedy movie using the cross-race gag will be coming out: Tropic Thunder. In this movie Robert Downey Jr will play a white man playing a black man in a movie within the movie (got that?).

downey jr tropic thunder Racial Backlash Over Upcoming Film?
Robert Downey Jr. plays a black man in Tropic Thunder

From what I’ve read, the comedic part of Downey Jr.’s role depends upon the fact that he is a white guy playing a black man, much as the humor in White Chicks was supposed to come from a couple of black men playing white blonde women.

According to Entertainment Weekly:

“Robert Downey Jr. plays Kirk Lazarus, a very serious Oscar-winning actor cast in the most expensive Vietnam War film ever. Problem is, Lazarus’s character, Sgt. Osiris, was originally written as black. So Lazarus decides to dye his skin and play Osiris, um, authentically.”

Here’s the picture that started the whole thing:

first tropic thunder pic Racial Backlash Over Upcoming Film?

The movie has nothing to do with finding humor in racial stereotypes, rather the goal (which I’m 100% behind) was to poke fun at pampered Hollywood stars by having the director of the film within the film drop them into a live war zone in Vietnam so they could get a taste of real hardship.

I’ll fess up right here and tell you that before I knew that this was the plot of the film, I had been offended by the trailer. I thought that it was portraying a band of actual soldiers as “wacky guys” in the middle of the conflict. But now that I know the context, it does indeed look like it may be pretty damned funny.

If you want to see the “red band” trailer (for language), you’ll need to provide age verification information over at the official website.

Personally I think any racist accusations raised against this film in the media will be from the usual bunch of attention-hungry talking heads that pop up at every opportunity.

Tropic Thunder opens on August 15th and stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black & Robert Downey Jr.

Source: EW via First Showing

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  1. The reason we go to movies is to escape such uptight antics in our society. Honestly it is just a movie to where we are just meant to laugh and not take things so seriously. there arent any true personal attacks and if we are unable to laugh at ourselves or not be so serious all the time then its a personal problem

  2. Ok I’m black and I thought it was funny. Its a joke and I can understand that, I don’t know why people such a big deal of it nowadays. It is 2008, shut the hell up about race, everyone is different let it go. But anyways, does anybody think Robert’s character look a little like Tyson Gay, but without the afro lol, take a look and you decide


  3. Hey I didn’t think it was offensive at ALL! Shane and Heath are right though, if a black person gets offended over Robert Downey Jr’s EXCELLENT performance in this movie then they need to reflect on what ever black comedian has said about EVERY race. He did nothing that was offensive. To me, he was VERY believable! lol! He played a crazy ass black man! lol

  4. I’m black myself and I don’t really see a problem with it. It actually looks funny.

  5. Come on people, get over it. This is a “movie”, you know, entertainment? It’s not like RDJ is running for public office or something. And another thing, give black people more credit. I have many African American friends and all agree that the movie was pretty funny and that it was no big deal. It’s more often than not, white people who freak over this stuff and immediately cry that something is politically incorrect or offensive. Again, it was just a movie.

  6. hoo my gosh i love Robert his movie was pretty funny…and the acting too
    it was just a movie i didnĀ“t think it was offencive at all…

    come on people just relax

  7. he makes a hot white black man

  8. i love tropic thunder it was a great movie, i like the part when tom cruise is danceing, and when benm stiller gets shot alot omg that rhymes haha

  9. fyi, Jim Carrey, the Barone family in Everybody Loves Raymond is Italian, not jewish…