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Why Robert Downey Jr.’s 2024 Oscars Acceptance Is Being Called Racist On Twitter

While Robert Downey Jr. seemingly ignoring Ke Huy Quan could be seen as insensitive, is it a stretch to call it racist? Photos later emerged from that evening of Downey and Quan shaking hands backstage. There was even a group shot of Downey posing with the five presenters with his arm around Quan. Others on X seem to think the whole controversy doesn’t hold merit, like @MattMustin: “Seeing some unironic ‘Robert Downey Jr is obviously a racist a****** who should go to hell’ tweets because he didn’t make eye contact with Ke Huy Quan and I swear to god all of you need to chill out.”

Then again, the flap is bringing to mind another unfortunate incident concerning Downey. In 2015, the actor was asked by The Guardian about director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu calling superhero movies a form of “cultural genocide.” The “Iron Man” star, one of a few MCU stars to have won an Oscar, answered, “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.” That statement, combined with Downey appearing to snub Quan, has led to many derisive remarks on social media. 

The question remains: did Downey intentionally ignore Quan? Taylor Swift made headlines earlier in 2024 when people thought she snubbed Celine Dion, who presented her with an award at the Grammys. Award shows can be chaotic, so perhaps Downey was just so overwhelmed he didn’t think to shake Quan’s hand. Regardless, many find it to have been a bad look. 



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