HOLLYWOOD – Today, countries from across the world joined in a minute’s silence to remember the release six years ago of Ben Stiller’s ‘comedy’ Tropic Thunder.
Heads bowed, an eerie silence fell over cities all over the world and even the sound of the traffic died down, as drivers pulled over to the side of the road, some taking the moment to say a short prayer. President Obama led the White House staff in a moment of remembrance in the Rose Garden and told the assembled press that:
This kind of thing, in our day and age, in the memory of our own lifetimes, seems almost impossible to conceive. That so many lives were blighted, so many hopes extinguished, so much pain caused should be a motive for all civilized nations to look at this moment in history, come together and learn some hard lessons so that it will never happen again.
In a rare moment of conciliation, silence was heard in Ukraine and across the Gaza Strip. In Buckingham Palace flags were lowered and across Paris the sipping of wine and the smoking of Gauloises cigarettes was halted for a brief moment.
The last surviving veterans of Tropic Thunder – Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr and Ben Stiller – chose to attend a private ceremony in which a copy of the film was set on fire and a wreath was placed on the site of the first screening of the film. A spokesperson for Stiller read a prepared statement from the actor:
We only wanted to make people laugh with a series of jokes that were supposed to be funny, but something went terribly, terribly wrong.
Meanwhile some survivors groups have criticized the ‘institutionalization of Tropic Thunder’, claiming that by concentrating so much on one particular event, many other atrocities go unnoticed by the media.
Jenny Billet from Survivors Against Thunder told Studio Exec:
Although it is only right that the media should constantly remind us of Tropic Thunder, that was by no means the only Ben Stiller film to spread horror throughout the world. In the hullabaloo of today it is easy to forget that he was also responsible for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And if anything Tower Heist was even worse than Tropic Thunder.
However, today is not a day of arguments, or dissent. Today is a day of remembrance, grieving and reconciliation. Today is a day that we are united in the mission to make sure something like Tropic Thunder will never happen again.