Nolte: Only 11 Years Ago Hollywood Nominated a Blackface Performance for an Oscar

DreamWorks via IMDB

While left-wing Hollywood’s running around declaring us racist, it’s instructive to remember it was only 11 years ago that this same Hollywood nominated a blackface performance for an Oscar.

Robert Downey Jr.’s iconic performance in Tropic Thunder (2008) not only earned him a Best Supporting Actor nod at the 2009 Academy Awards, his blackface performance was also nominated for a Golden Globe, a BAFTA (whatever that is), a Screen Actors Guild Award; as well as awards from something called the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (they sound like a load of laughs), the Awards Circuit Community Awards (do they know the word “Awards” appears twice in their name?), and at least a dozen more.

Blackface, y’all.

Full-on blackface.

***Language warning***

The toast of Hollywood elite, including the Academy freakin’ Awards, all paid homage to a blackface performance a mere 11 years ago, the same Hollywood attacking us as racist for enjoying Gone With the Wind (along with 73 percent of black people) and using phrases like “China Flu” and “All Lives Matter.”

Downey Jr.’s character not only darkened his skin, he thickened his lower lip, wore a wig, and ran around shouting about how much he loved him some chitlins.

This all happened during the first year of America’s first black president.

To be clear, I have no problem with Downey Jr.’s performance as Kirk Lazarus — a blonde Australian who has his skin surgically darkened in order to play a black man in a Hollywood blockbuster. The performance is brilliant and brilliantly funny. There’s nothing racist about it — quite the opposite. The whole point of the character is good-natured satire. Co-writer, director, and star Ben Stiller uses Lazarus like buckshot to satirize too many things to count…

Stiller is, of course, mocking method actors, those who live in the skin of their character onscreen and off, and all those pretentious stars who use method to hide their own shallow insecurities. Also targeted is the absurdity of white stars stealing roles from minorities — which is still happening; how Hollywood constantly stereotypes black actors in Morgan Freeman-type roles — you know, the wise elder, leader, and mentor. And finally, Stiller mocks how white liberals see black people as simplistically kind, wise, and earthy.

To his great credit, Stiller also mocks black culture, specifically rap culture, with the character Alpha Chino (Brandon T. Jackson), a black rapper-turned-actor who speaks for the audience by mocking Lazarus, but who has also lost hold of who he is in trying to live up to his gangsta image.

Then there’s the villain, a little Asian kid who smokes tobacco and carries automatic weapons — how beautifully inappropriate is that?

Another brilliant target is Simple Jack, a fictional movie within this movie that haunts Ben Stiller’s character, a financial and critical humiliation obviously poking fun at I Am Sam, Sean Penn’s 2001 disaster where he “went full-retard.”

Tropic Thunder is all about mocking phonies… A movie where white guys in cornrows are meant to be laughed at, not admired, a movie with only two characters who are true to themselves: Danny McBride’s redneck explosives expert and Tom Cruise’s cruel and mercenary producer. You don’t have to like those characters to at least respect them.

Tropic Thunder might very well be the last piece of fearless satire we see until this fascist reign of the Woke Taliban finally burns itself out. The movie is even funnier and more liberating today because it comes with the delicious taste of the forbidden.

But none of that matters…

You want to know why?

Because I don’t make the rules.

Hollywood is one of America’s rule-makers, and Hollywood has declared blackface in any form racist regardless of intent…

Let me explain what I mean…

When I was in middle school, my friends and I came up with a code where “Yes, sir” meant “asshole” and “Yes, ma’am” meant “bitch.” As you can imagine, we had a ball — laughed ourselves silly and no one ever knew why — well, I guess until now. It was nothing personal Mrs. Moskowitz.

Anyway, it wasn’t the words we spoke that mattered, it was the intent behind the words. The words we spoke were respectful; the intent, however, was malicious.

And that’s why the way in which you and I see the Kirk Lazarus character doesn’t matter. To you and I, the character is a brilliant and layered act of anti-racism.

But now that we know that Hollywood sees blackface — all blackface, regardless of intent — as racist, we can only assume Hollywood lauded Tropic Thunder with all those accolades with racist intent — to humiliate black people.

Remember, as I pointed out last week, it is only ever Democrats and left-wing celebrities who are caught in blackface — Howard Stern, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA), Joy Behar, Billy Crystal, and so on…

I’ve lived in the former Confederacy for 20 years and have never seen blackface. The whole idea of it is absurd. But blackface is everywhere on the left, so…

By their own words, and through their attacks on us, we know the left’s intent in wearing, tolerating, and showering blackface with Oscar nominations was and is a naked act of racism.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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