Everyone has heard by this point, and most likely has watched the video online, of Robert Downey Jr’s abrupt walk out on, where he was pressed with blunt inquiries concerning his lamentable past instead of questions designed to promote the upcoming Marvel blockbuster The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Almost immediately afterwards the internet was flooded with reactions that appeared to drastically vary: Some think Robert Downey Jr did the right thing by walking out; some said he should have taken that opportunity to address the issues publically as some sort of lesson for others; some believe he should answer whatever questions are thrown at him as if it is owed to the general public. Despite what some people think, Robert Downey Jr did the right thing.
First off, he was supposed to be participating in the interview as a routine promotion for an upcoming film – in does not matter which film, because it is a standard practice to promote anything you want something to buy. An interview is not a journalist’s or a reporter’s, or anyone’s, personal time to gush, accuse, or embarrass celebrities big or small. Sitting down with a public figure, be it a film star or anyone else, with the intent to elicit the skeletons in their closet demands giving them prior notice, and it requires said person’s consent to the interview. Otherwise, it is really nothing more than a surprise attack on someone who is simply doing their job. In fact, it was quite unprofessional of the reporter, who is clearly trying to make a name for himself (which unfortunately he is getting what he wants) and who shall remain nameless here, to turn a typical promotional spot into a witch hunt into someone’s past. Furthermore, it was down-right ignorant of the interviewer to refer to an answer Robert Downey Jr gave to a question asked 7 years ago. Think of anyone you have known for 7 years, and ask yourself what your opinion was of them 7 years ago versus today. It will either have changed, for better or worse if even in the slightest way, or you won’t recall clearly. It’s called being human; Get used to it, because you’ll always be one. A person’s past is their own problems, and something they have to deal with every day without be reminded of it, let alone being reminded on public television.
Despite popular belief, celebrities are people like anyone, no better or worse. This means that A) Downey Jr is capable of mistakes and changing his mind, and B) He does not owe anything to anyone who is making him feel uncomfortable. When you are asked uncomfortable questions and the person refuses to let up, you walk away. You are not obligate to explain to anyone something they do not want to understand or care about. To cap off, the original purpose of that interview was to promote a movie, so:
The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released in theaters everywhere on May 1, 2015.