We touched upon Falcon actor Anthony Mackie’s disparagement of Marvel Studios’ conduct regarding diversity in our Tessa Thompson MCU Phase 4 diversity piece.
“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,” Mackie said in a Variety interview with Daveed Diggs. “But then when you do Black Panther, you have a Black director, Black producer, a Black costume designer, 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?”
In a recent interview with Fatherly, Mackie further resolved what he meant by his commentary as well as his thoughts on the significance behind having the iconic Captain America mantle passed to his character.
“I’ll say this: I don’t think what’s happening is a racism problem. I think it’s an unawareness problem,” Mackie explained. “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. 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.
Anyone who’s big in our industry, if they have a party at their house, their party is 98 percent white. If you go to their office and their office is 98 percent white, that reflects their reality.”
When asked what it felt like to be handed Captain America’s shield, Mackie replied, “It was humbling, just simply because of my background and where I came from. It’s even more humbling considering where we are as a country. Marvel has done a lot as far as actors in front of the camera. Having Captain America pass the shield to a Black guy. Every studio has to do more about ushering more people into the business.”
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already made strides with diversity with films such as Captain Marvel and Black Panther, so hopefully Mackie’s constructive criticism can help to ameliorate the situation in the future, especially with future movies such as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and the rumors of Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel appearing in the Captain Marvel sequel.
What do you think of the criticism Anthony Mackie made regarding racial diversity in Marvel movies? Let us know in the comments.