Future Captain America Anthony Mackie clarifies disparaging Marvel comments, says MCU has an ‘unawareness problem’
Actor Anthony Mackie, who recently suggested that Marvel’s hiring practices are ‘racist’, has offered a clarification about his comments. Mackie plays The Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is all set to pick up the mantle of Captain America.
He told Fatherly, “I’ll say this: I don’t think what’s happening is a racism problem. I think it’s an unawareness problem. With Marvel, I really think with most companies, they feel like they’re doing what they should be doing. In no way, shape, or form, is it enough.”
“My big thing is, put your money where your mouth is. You can’t cast a Black dude as one of your main superheroes and not expect him to have that conversation. It’s just in my DNA to have that conversation,” he continued. “It’s a huge opportunity for me to be part of the Marvel universe so it’s my job to make sure the Marvel universe is as good as it can be.”
Previously, the actor had said in an episode of Variety’s Actors on Actors series that he is against the token hiring of Black people in front of the camera, but not behind it. “It really bothered me that I’ve done seven Marvel movies where every producer, every director, every stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white,” he said. “But then when you do Black Panther, you have a Black director, Black producer, you have a Black costume designer, you have a Black stunt choreographer. And I’m like, that’s more racist than anything else. Because if you only can hire the Black people for the Black movie, are you saying they’re not good enough when you have a mostly white cast?… Hire the best person for the job. Even if it means we’re going to get the best two women, we’re going to get the best two men.”
Directors of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame -- brothers Joe and Anthony Russo -- also commented on Mackie’s statements. “I think we can always all do better at diversity constantly in this business, and in every facet of every industry — so he’s not wrong at all,” Joe said in a podcast appearance. “I think that we all have to work harder to keep endorsing and supporting diversity on both sides of the camera.” Anthony added, “We have a ton of respect for Anthony Mackie. He is not only an amazing actor, but he’s an amazing person, and we’ve loved our collaboration with him.”
Marvel is trying to diversify both in front of and behind the camera on its future projects. Ryan Coogler will return to write and direct Black Panther 2; Chloe Zhao is directing The Eternals, starring a multiracial cast; Cate Shortland directed Black Widow; Destin Daniel Cretton is directing Shang-Chi, starring a mostly Asian cast, and Deborah Chow is in talks to direct future projects.
Marvel executive producer Victoria Alonso in a recent Reddit Q&A said that the studio intends on bringing more diversity to its upcoming slate. “I can tell you we are actively working on making our universe as diverse and inclusive as we can. Be patient with us. We have a lot coming in the future,” she said.
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