‘Iron Man’ and ‘Avengers’ actor Robert Downey Jr.’s son Indio Downey was arrested in West Hollywood on Sunday afternoon for drug possession. Indio Downey was caught being in possession of cocaine when his friend’s car – in which he was a passenger – was pulled over for a traffic violation. The incident ended almost as soon as it began when Indio posted bond at a hefty $10,000 and was released from jail just after 12:30 this morning.
While the incident came and went within only a few short hours the internet is alive and roaring with ‘like father, like son’ jokes and each one is just as unoriginal and unfunny as the one that came before it. 49-year old Robert Downey Jr. is well known not only for his electric portrayal as Marvel Comics’ billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark aka Iron Man but also for his troubled past as a sufferer from substance abuse and addiction. Downey Jr’s former substance abuse even became so bad as to land him in prison in the late 90s, which damaged his professional and personal life for a full decade afterwards.
The tastelessness of the jokes concerning Indio Downey’s action mirroring that of his father’s are especially difficult to swallow due to Indio Downey being only 20-years old, indicating what could be a serious problem with substance addictions and much more than a catchy headline that, when you think about it is lazy at best and blatantly disrespectful and worst. Along with making fun of a 20-year old boy with an addiction problem it also serves as a flippant disregard for just how difficult recovery from addiction is.
Downey Jr. has boasted an impressive decade (and change) of sobriety, but the media and the social media community rush to find the first opportunity to make light of an extraordinarily challenging thing to achieve. Substance abuse is often linked to mental health issues and recovery from either or both is not something that should be turned into a punchline.
While its unclear what will happen next for Robert Downey Jr. and his family we can certainly hope that he’ll continue to be a role model for both his son and others who have struggled with addiction and addiction recovery.