TASTE & POWER

Speaking of Robert Downey Jr….

Posted in Art, Film, Politics by LadyHam on April 10, 2008

Tropic Thunder

Look at these guys. So thats Ben Stiller obviously, and then there’s those other two. Does the black guy look familiar? He should. It’s good ol’ Robert Downey Jr! Your favorite snuggly Iron Man crackhead.

Generally speaking, blackface offends me. And the prospect of Robert Downey Jr. in blackface puts my panties in a jumble, to say the least. Blackface, used in comedies back in the 1920’s, is once again being committed to film for its comedic purposes. But maybe it’s not technically blackface. Just a white guy playing a black guy by coloring his skin black. Will Stiller’s use of blackface in his new film Tropic Thunder live up to the satirical genius of Spike Lee’s Bamboozled?  I haven’t seen the movie yet so I don’t know much about the plot but the trailer seems to tell us that Robert Downey’s character is a white actor, so intense about his acting career, that he goes through an operation to MAKE himself black.

My question is, aren’t there enough black actors looking for work that they don’t need Robert Downey stealing what little roles Hollywood allots. For instance, why did Sean Penn have to play Sam. Couldn’t it have been a lovable mentally challenged actor? Those guys need work too.


Lucy Lui, is of Taiwanese decent and grew up in Queens, NY. She’s cute, but she is no Jap. In Kill Bill she plays the Japanese Yakuza boss. In the movie, Lui attempts to speak Japanese once. Just once in the whole movie. Her impersonation of her language coach is lame. It sounded like Andre the Giant trying to talk with broken glass in his mouth. I guess it just reflects on her pathetic effort to be a serious actor. Or on Hollywood’s low expectations of their millions of viewers. I wish Hollywood treated us a little better. We ain’t THAT ign’ant, are we?

7 Responses

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  1. Rubang B, the Mad Doctor of Love said, on April 11, 2008 at 12:46 am

    1) It’s technically not blackface. Your comparison with Wikipedia’s recent “pic of the day” shows the differences.

    2) Robert Downey Jr. is awesome. In interviews he’s said that this film can possibly destroy his career and he’s very aware and very afraid of that, but figured, fuck it, he’ll only live once, and he’s already had a good career so far. He’s going balls to the wall. I have to respect that.

    3) The white guy pretending to be black is actually pertinent to the plot, and not at the expense of black people the world over like blackface actually was. Did you get mad when Gary Oldman pretended he was black in True Romance? (Answer: No. Gary Oldman is G-d.)

    4) Even if this WAS real blackface, I’d still pay to see it and laugh my ass off.

    5) Lulz.

    And yeah, that Chinese playing Japanese thing only works when they’re bilingual. Lucy Liu fucked it up. But hey, at least she was on an episode of Home Improvement in 1995. That reminds me, this blog’s all taste and no power. It needs MORE POWER!

  2. ghettogem said, on April 11, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Robert Downey Jr. is a dipshit and no amount of numbered and itemized arguments will ever change that.

    And I don’t care if Lucy Liu is Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, or Korean, just dip that bitch in soy sauce and put her in my mouth please.

  3. Rubang B, the Mad Doctor of Love said, on April 11, 2008 at 5:34 am

    Is this how we’re going to fight now? Are you going to track down all my pro-Downey Jr. blog comments on the entire internet and talk shit? That could take a couple lifetimes. I’ve been around.

    And if you even so much as blog about Lucy Liu, I’m raping both of you to death.

  4. LadyHam said, on April 11, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Rubang, Just because make-up technology has advanced doesn’t mean it’s not a white guy painting his face to look like a black guy. I’m definitely still going to see the movie and i definitely hope it makes me laugh my ass off. I’d like to go see it with you and have a panel discussion afterwards. Maybe go see it in some blackface?

  5. Rubang B, the Mad Doctor of Love said, on April 12, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Ok now you’re talking my language. I’m always down for discussing the issues. I’m stuck in the Bay Area for now. We could get drunk, get in blackface, see the movie in our respective Areas, and then rock a panel online or something, and everybody will learn the true meaning of love and friendship.

  6. Devin Kenny said, on April 21, 2008 at 8:20 am

    I want my 10 minutes back.

  7. irelavent said, on August 9, 2008 at 4:19 am

    is it just me or are you pointing out racism where there is none? i dont think that they are taking away acting jobs from black, mentally challenged, or Japanese people. and kill bill just sucked anyways regardless of Lucy Lui’s attempt at the Japanese language. and i agree with Devin Kenny i want my time back too!


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