Tag Archives: Robert Downey Jr.

Acting in Blackface is BACK, Unfortunately

Acceptable????  Buffoonery???  Right, Buffoonery!!! Let one of my fav bloggers, Jasmyne A. Cannick,break it down for you. OH, and check out CNN’s take on it from this morning.

Buffoonery: Get some at a theater near you

Hollywood has finally found a way to get around hiring Black actors to portray Black people while at the same time further destroying the global image of the Black male-and make a couple million dollars in the process. Buffoonery, yes, it’s headed to a theater near you.

The latest assault on the Black image from Hollywood is the film Tropic Thunder that stares Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Hollywood’s favorite “white” drug addicted actor Robert Downey Jr.-in blackface.

In Tropic Thunder, a movie about a movie (how original), Downey, whom did I mention is white, takes on the character of an Oscar-winning actor named Kirk Lazarus-whose character in the war movie they are filming, Sgt. Osiris, is Black.

Still with me?

Now for the record, I don’t for one minute expect for Hollywood to take into consideration the history of blackface in America and how it makes me feel as a Black woman. I mean this is the same industry that forced Norbit on us-which single handedly managed to reinforce the negative stereotypes of obese Black women in 102 minutes to the tune of $95 million.

But at the same time, I know, like you know, that there won’t be any movies opening anytime soon that poke fun at or mimic their experience or their people.

I’m just saying that when it comes to Hollywood, the history of Black people in this country, and our image as a people, it’s like, “how much money do you need and how fast can you get the film done?”

Films like Tropic Thunder, to me, just open the floodgates and validate the use of blackface for entertainment purposes.

Consider this. Continue reading

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New Ben Stiller comedy, featuring a black Robert Downey, Jr?

Who’s that man between Jack Black and Ben Stiller in this scene from the upcoming comedy? (Hint: he’s famous…and white)

TROPIC THUNDER How did people react at a test screening to Downey‘s character? ”It seems people really embrace it,” says Stiller Merie Weismiller Wallace
If you don’t recognize that African-American actor standing between Jack Black and Ben Stiller, there’s a good reason: He’s white. In Tropic Thunder, an epic action comedy co-written and directed by Stiller, 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. Funny? Sure. Dangerous? That’s an understatement. ”If it’s done right, it could be the type of role you called Peter Sellers to do 35 years ago,” Downey says. ”If you don’t do it right, we’re going to hell.”The film marks Stiller’s first directing effort since 2001’s Zoolander. With Thunder (opening Aug. 15), he takes aim at the sweetest target of all: actors. Downey plays one of a team of self-indulgent stars cast in the modern equivalent of Apocalypse Now. Stiller plays an action hero who has just adopted a baby from Asia but worries that ”all the good ones are gone.” Black portrays a comedian known for performing multiple roles in a single film — his latest is called The Fatties: Fart 2. But when the film’s director (Steve Coogan) and writer (Nick Nolte) get fed up with their prima donna cast, they drop them into the jungle to fend for themselves. The actors think they’re doing some sort of full-immersion filmmaking, but the danger they’re in is very real.Stiller got the idea for Thunder more than 20 years ago while shooting a small part in Steven Spielberg’s WWII drama Empire of the Sun. He’s continued to develop the script as his own star has risen, which makes taking on his brethren all the richer — watch for cameos from Tom Cruise and Tobey Maguire — and all the more perilous. For starters, Hollywood satires have a rocky box office record. And then there’s that little issue of a white guy playing a black guy. Stiller says that he and Downey always stayed focused on the fact that they were skewering insufferable actors, not African-Americans. ”I was trying to push it as far as you can within reality,” Stiller explains. ”I had no idea how people would respond to it.” He recently screened a rough cut of the film and it scored high with African-Americans. He was relieved at the reaction. ”It seems people really embrace it,” he says.Paramount is hoping so: The studio plans to debut the trailer online March 17, and Downey is all over it. (In one scene, he tries to bond with a real African-American castmate by quoting the theme song from The Jeffersons.) Downey, meanwhile, is confident he never crossed the line. ”At the end of the day, it’s always about how well you commit to the character,” he says. ”I dove in with both feet. If I didn’t feel it was morally sound, or that it would be easily misinterpreted that I’m just C. Thomas Howell in [Soul Man], I would’ve stayed home.”
Based on the pictue, I never would have guessed that he wasn’t really black… I can’t believe that’s Robert Downey, Jr.

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