Ben Stiller Refuses to Apologize for His Most Controversial Movie and Says He’s ‘Proud of It’

Ben Stiller Refuses to Apologize for His Most Controversial Movie and Says He’s ‘Proud of It’

Over 15 years since its release, Ben Stiller’s film “Tropic Thunder” continues to generate debate and controversy online. Stiller, known for “Madagascar” and other films, has not expressed regret for creating this movie, countering claims that he had previously apologized for it.

Stiller played the main character, Tugg Speedman, in this 2008 satirical action comedy, alongside Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Matthew McConaughey, and other notable Hollywood actors. The film received positive reviews, scoring 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.1/10 on IMDb. However, it sparked controversy, particularly for Downey Jr.’s portrayal of a character in blackface, intended as a satirical commentary on extreme method acting.

Despite the intention of satire, the film’s humor has been perceived by some as offensive. On social media, discussions have emerged about the film’s content, with one user mentioning that Stiller had previously apologized for it.

Refuting this, Stiller stated in 2018, “Actually Tropic Thunder was boycotted 10 years ago when it came out, and I apologized then. It was always meant to make fun of actors trying to do anything to win awards.” However, he contradicted this in a later reply, asserting, “I make no apologies for Tropic Thunder. Don’t know who told you that. It’s always been a controversial movie since when we opened. Proud of it and the work everyone did on it.”

Fans of “Tropic Thunder” have come to Stiller’s defense, with comments like “Never apologize for comedy,” and others praising the film as a “f**king gem” and a “masterpiece.”

Robert Downey Jr. also discussed the film on The Joe Rogan Experience in 2020. He reflected on the vision Stiller had for the film and acknowledged its potential to offend, saying, “[Ben] 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.” About his controversial role, Downey Jr. mentioned, “And 90 percent 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.”

Regardless of the mixed reactions, the cast and crew of “Tropic Thunder” remain proud of their work on the film.