Robert Downey Jr. Has No Regrets Over ‘Tropic Thunder’ Blackface | 22 Words

Blackface seems to be an issue celebrities just cannot get right. From Instagram influencers to the Prime Minister of Canada, there seems to be a never-ending slew of high profile people who think changing their race for entertainment purposes is acceptable. And one prime example that still remains problematic is that of Robert Downey Jr in 2008 "comedy" Tropic Thunder.

Now the Avengers star has spoken out about his controversial choice - but people aren't too impressed over what he had to say ...

Why is blackface so problematic?

via: Getty Images

For those of you that still don't seem to understand why black/brown face is so offensive, firstly, sort yourselves out. Secondly, we've got the facts here for you.

Throughout history, white people, in particular, would paint their faces black in order to degrade black people.

via: Getty Images

Look it up. It happened in all sorts of places. From comedy shows to Halloween costumes. They would compare them to monkeys while simultaneously acting in a humiliating manner to depict black people as uncivilized.

It's extremely offensive.

via: Getty Images

So, in all cases, avoid it. You can still be Samuel L. Jackson for Halloween without painting yourself black. Just get a beret, a blazer, and some thick-framed glasses. Easy.

Yet several famous people have appeared in it over the years.

via: Twitter

The most prominent of which being Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. Big yikes.

Because no matter how hard they seem to try ...

Celebrities just can't seem to help getting themselves into these totally unnecessary (and racist) situations.

And another celebrity who's in the firing line?

Robert Downey Jr. The actor is a beloved star - and yet in his past, there are some problematic moments.

He's best known for his role in the MCU.

Honestly, where would the Avengers be without Iron Man? (Well, we're about to find out, actually ...)

But way back in 2008 ...

via: IMDB

Downey Jr. starred in a movie that everyone seems to have forgotten about ...

And in it, you guessed it ...

Iron Man himself donned blackface. Yes, you read that right.

The storyline sort of attempts to poke fun at the controversial move.

But if it was aiming for satire, it falls short of the mark. TBH, it's pretty hard to make blackface funny.

But what's even weirder?

The world seemed to collectively brush it under the rug and move on.

Because he was so beloved an actor ...

We all seemed to decide to collectively pretend it never happened, and continue to love him regardless.

And the movie's excuse for the racist portrayal?

Well, it seemed a little bit rubbish, to say the least.

The idea that Downey was using blackface to take down blackface?

Well, that just didn't fly with most audience members.

But now Downey Jr. has spoken out of the controversy,

And let's just say people aren't too impressed by what he had to say.

He spoke out about his decision on The Joe Rogen Experience.

"My mother was horrified. 'Bobby, I’m telling ya, I have a bad feeling about this.’ I was like, ‘Yeah me too, mom.’"

"When Ben [Stiller] called and said, ‘Hey I’m doing this thing."

"He knew exactly what the vision for this was, he executed it, it was impossible to not have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie."

"You know I think Sean Penn had passed on it or something."

"Possibly wisely." Yeah, no kidding!

"And I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that and I’ll do that after Iron Man.’"

"Then I started thinking, ‘This is a terrible idea, wait a minute.’ Then I thought, ‘Well hold on dude, get real here, where is your heart? My heart is … I get to be black for a summer in my mind, so there’s something in it for me." Uhm, wtf?

His justification is truly bizarre.

"The other thing is, I get to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do on occasion, just my opinion."

"And 90 per cent of my black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great.’"

"I can’t disagree with [the other 10 percent], but I know where my heart lies."

"I think that it’s never an excuse to do something that’s out of place and out of its time."

"But to me, it blasted the cap on it. I think having a moral psychology is job one."

"Sometimes, you just gotta go, ‘Yeah I effed up.’"

"In my defense, ‘Tropic Thunder’ is about how wrong [blackface] is, so I take exception."

What's even weirder about his performance?

It was hugely well received at the time - earning Downey Jr. Best Supporting Actor nominations at the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Seems like this man can basically get away with anything!

Want to see a less controversial side to the star? Scroll on to watch some truly heartwarming Downey Jr. footage.