The iconic movie Tropic Thunder hasn’t aged well and the world is divided on what exactly that means…
But Ben Stiller hasn’t apologized for that.
And he, in fact, defended the use of blackface in the film.
“It’s a great movie, such a laugh!. We won’t be getting comedies for much longer if people keep taking offense so easily, a sense of humor will soon be a thing of the past! If you don’t like it don’t watch it, good for you Ben! one fan agrees.
“If a movie like this were to be made today, the actors would have to be put into witness protection to fend off all the ‘woke up’ assholes hanging around waiting to be offended by something. It was top-notch satire,” added another.
“This cancel culture stuff is getting ridiculous! Soon we won’t have any form of comedy in the world, as no one will remember what it is! offered a third.
Read on for the full story…
We’ve all heard of cancel culture.
Traditionally, the term “cancelled” means “to dismiss something”, or “to reject an individual or an idea”, as per the Dictionary.
But it is a controversial topic.
Deleting someone has become the go-to tactic for disgruntled and offended Internet-goers.
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Whether it’s rejecting them, ignoring them, publicly objecting to their opinions or actions, or depriving them of their time and attention.
Some people think it’s an inappropriate response to offense.
We’ve all heard of this controversy…
Perhaps the most memorable example is the formerly beloved mastermind behind the Harry Potter franchise, JK Rowling.
Who was savagely “cancelled” after expressing her views on women and gender.
Many have found them transphobic views.
She commented: “’People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there was a word for those people. Somebody help me. Wuben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
And, almost instantly, the internet was ablaze with accusations of transphobia.
And even some are calling for Rowling and the Harry Potter franchise to be canceled and boycotted altogether.
Which some saw as taking things too far.
And he’s not the only person to have been deleted online.
During former President Trump’s controversial response to the BLM protests in 2020, his daughter stumbled into controversy.
Her daughter was hastily dropped off Wichita State University Tech in Kansas just hours after it was revealed she would be giving a talk to her students.
Many opposed erasing the culture.
An open letter to Harper’s Magazine in July of last year was signed by more than 150 prominent authors and journalists.
Including JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood.
Denouncing what they see as a loss of open debate and tolerance due to cancel culture.
Another one who has spoken out against the ideology is the man behind Blackadder and Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson.
And he has long advocated for free speech, as well as campaigning against legislation that he believed would “stifle the expression”.
“It’s important that we are exposed to a broad spectrum of opinion,” Atkinson told the Radio Times.
“But what we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn.”
But that doesn’t mean cancel culture is over.
Many films from the past have also been targeted…
Now, on July 9, 1999, a film has burst into theaters the likes of which American audiences have never seen before…
It was vulgar, obscene, hilarious: it showed a teenager doing unspeakably sexual things with the most American of desserts, apple pie.
It was called, appropriately enough, American Pie…
And it was a monster hit among its teenage audience.
The film was quickly followed by another huge success…
Man, Where’s My Car from 2000, starring Seann William Scott and Ashton Kutcher.
However, Gen Zers find these films deeply problematic…
“The comedy was ruined today. There are only a handful of stalwart comedians left, like Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr and Joe Rogan. The satire comedy was destroyed. Today I challenge people to watch Blazing Saddles, they would probably have a heart attack! one person wrote.
Teens have had major problems with a whole slew of movies, Vice reported last year.
“The whole movie is completely ridiculous, especially since the only thing the male characters care about is having sex. They are willing to say and do anything just to get girls to have sex with them. I don’t know if that was realistic when the movie came out, but I think now men treat women with a lot more respect and equality,” said 16-year-old Taylor of American Pie.
“The part where Jim and the other male characters film the foreign student in his room is deeply problematic. The movie doesn’t even question the morality of doing it, it makes it look like a joke and that the dudes are all “legends” to make the plan work. It’s a huge invasion of privacy and definitely an insult to Jim to film it, let alone share it with his friends. There’s no way a teen movie made now would allow that” Anna, seventeen years oldagreed.
“The way the guys in this movie think they deserve sex is borderline incel attitude, and the way they seem to think all women are fine rather than wanting a loving relationship with someone they respect. I think if you were a teenager watching this movie you would basically feel empowered to do however you want with women,” concluded 18-year-old Olivia.
And as for Dude, where is my car?
“I seriously cannot imagine this film being made today for so many reasons. I hated how pretty much every woman they meet in the film seems to exist solely for the sexual pleasure of the two main characters, from their girlfriends to the girls they meet at the party and the ones in the strip club. Of course, the whole movie is completely ridiculous, but it still annoyed me because the main characters are sexist losers and don’t deserve any female attention,” 16-year-old Taylor lambasted.
Hannah, 17, agrees, adding, “I haven’t gotten to the end of this movie and I honestly don’t understand how anyone can actually sit there and watch the whole scene, let alone find something funny. There were so many things that weren’t ok, especially the scene where they go to get a Chinese drive-thru takeout and the lady taking the order keeps saying “and then” to Ashton Kutcher’s character. I didn’t understand if the joke was supposed to be that she didn’t understand them or that she wanted them to order more but either way it’s no where near funny and quite racist.
“I hated all of this, but the worst part is when Jesse gets a lap dance from a stripper who turns out to be a trans woman, or as they joke in the movie ‘a male with gender issues’, and then Jesse freaks out and starts wiping his tongue because he kissed her, and lifts her skirt to see the bulge. Plays on stereotypes of trans people as sex workers and thieves and legitimizes cis male transphobia. It’s so disgusting and I hope it wouldn’t have been made if it was written today Olivia, eighteen, finished.
And now, another film from the past has come under criticism.
2008’s Tropic Thunder came under fire for its use of blackface, in particular.
However, Ben Stiller has spoken out against canceling the film.
On Instagram, one fan wrote: “Please stop apologizing for making this movie. It was and still is fun AF. Even more fun now with cancel culture as it is. It’s a movie. You can just get over it.
“I was dying of laughter when I first saw him back in the day, as was everyone else.”
But to everyone’s surprise, Stiller actually responded!
Stiller wrote: “I make no apologies for Tropic Thunder. I don’t know who told you that. It’s always been a controversial film since we opened. Proud of this and the work everyone has done on it.
What do you think of his comments?