The circled actor is Robert Downey Jnr in Ben Stiller’s forthcoming film, Tropic Thunder.
Controversial? Some people are annoyed.
Does it make it less objectionable if Downey Jnr is playing a white method actor that has blacked himself up and is poking fun at the concept?
I’m not personally offended in any way (how is this different to making an actor look old, female or zombified?), but somewhat intrigued by Downey Jnr’s defence of his character, Kirk Lazarus:
“If it’s done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago. If you don’t do it right, we’re going to hell.”
Peter Sellers was a comedy genius. But if Downey Jnr’s character is as nuanced, subtle and wry a portrayal of a black man as Peter Sellers’ depiction of Hrundi in The Party, he’ll be a mocking stereotype.
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Filed in: Media,Race politics