Just one week after he walked out of an interview with Channel 4 News because of the reporter’s uncomfortable questions about his dark past, Robert Downey Jr. is making headlines again for another interview. Only this time it’s because of something Downey said.
While talking to the Guardian about The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Robert Downey Jr. was asked to comment on a statement made by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Oscar-winning director of Birdman. Last year, Iñárritu was talking to Deadline when he described big-budget superhero films as being “cultural genocide.” Downey seemed surprised by the comment, and he responded by saying he respects “the heck out of” Iñárritu.
“I think for a man whose native tongue is Spanish to be able to put together a phrase like ‘cultural genocide’ just speaks to how bright he is.”
Robert Downey Jr.’s comment was not well received by social media users.
ouch robert downey jr’s comment about alejandro iñárritu was so racist i’m getting second hand embarrassment i hope he’ll apologize
— scarlet witch ellie (@hummeIanderson) April 24, 2015
@RobertDowneyJr please think before you talk, and don’t be a racist man. lots of people love you, so consider your action before you do it.
— amme (@CHARLlECOX) April 24, 2015
@RobertDowneyJr what you said was really racist and can you please apologize just like Chris and Jeremy when they talked about black widow
— elijah |-/ (@uptownemo) April 24, 2015
The Guardian reporter had asked similar questions to other cast members from The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but none of their responses were as controversial as Downey’s. Later in the interview, Downey said that popular films such as the Avengers franchise can lead to actors “being scrutinized.”
“I think that a certain level of scrutiny is good, whether it’s someone’s feedback saying, ‘These films are cruddy,’ or it’s a kid looking up to you and wanting to represent something to them [and] that maybe you’re not fully that thing. But you at least want to be responsible to the opportunity you’ve been given.”
In a statement, via the Associated Press, Robert Downey Jr.’s publicist, Alan Nierob, said the actor’s comment about Iñárritu has been misunderstood by the general public, and Downey didn’t mean to insult the Birdman director.
“Taken in the proper context of the interview, it is intended to be, and is, complimentary.”
Robert Downey Jr. is not the only Avengers star to get in trouble during the movie’s promotional tour. As the Inquisitr previously reported, actors Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner came under fire for saying Scarlett Johansson’s character, Black Widow, is a “slut” and a “whore.”
What do you make of Robert Downey Jr.’s comment?
[Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios]