Ben Stiller Stands by Shaun White’s Controversial ‘Tropic Thunder’ Costume

Ben Stiller Shaun White
Ben Stiller and Shaun White Getty Images

He said what he said. Ben Stiller maintains his stance on his portrayal of a person with special needs in Tropic Thunder, following Shaun White’s controversial decision to dress up as the character for Halloween.

The Zoolander star, 52, responded to a Twitter follower who suggested boycotting the 2008 film after the professional snowboarder, 32, issued an apology for dressing up as Simple Jack — Stiller’s disabled character in the film — for the festive holiday.

Ben Stiller Shaun White
Ben Stiller as Simple Jack from Tropic Thunder. DreamWorks

“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,” the Along Came Polly actor tweeted in response. “I stand by my apology, the movie, Shaun White, And the great people and work of the @SpecialOlympics.”

Groups representing the mentally disabled, including the Special Olympics and the American Association of People with Disabilities, slammed the film ahead of its release in August 2008 over the loose usage of the r-word. The movie — starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black — was also written, directed and produced by Stiller.

White apologized on Monday, October 29, after he was widely criticized for his eyebrow-raising costume. “I owe everyone in the Special Olympics community an apology for my poor choice of Halloween costume the other night. It was a last minute decision. It was the wrong one. ” he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. “The Special Olympics were right to call me out on it. They do great work supporting so many athletes and I am sorry for being insensitive. Lesson learned.”

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