I Am Sam Director Comments on Controversial Tropic Thunder Reference

December 31, 2021

The 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder has drawn some retroactive backlash in recent years, particularly in regards to Robert Downey Jr.’s character. In the Ben Stiller-directed film, RDJ plays Kirk Lazarus, a method actor who had his skin darkened to play a different Black character. Increased controversy over the use of “Blackface” in movies and TV shows has led to speculation that Tropic Thunder wouldn’t be able to be released today.

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