Actor Anthony Mackie, who plays the superhero Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), scolded the franchise for essentially segregating the movie “Black Panther” to be the only movie with a primarily black crew.
Speaking with actor Daveed Diggs on Variety’s “Actors on Actors” issue, the “Captain America: Winter Soldier” star expressed frustration with the lack of diversity behind the camera in the MCU for movies that are not “Black Panther.”
“What are the ways that you find yourself interacting with the moment?” Diggs asked Mackie. “I find a lot of my interactions are just trying to make things better in the gigs I have in front of me — how can I affect different kinds of representation? What is the thing you feel compelled to do? What is your participation in this moment?”
Mackie, who will be starring in the Disney Plus series “Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” said that Marvel’s lack of diversity beyond “Black Panther” bothered him, noting it was weird to see only white people on the other sets.
“When ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ comes out, I’m the lead,” Mackie said. “When ‘Snowpiercer’ came out, you’re the lead. We have the power and the ability to ask those questions. 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.”
“We’ve had one Black producer; his name was Nate Moore,” Mackie continued. “He produced ‘Black Panther.’ 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?”
Going forward, Mackie said he’d like to see Marvel hire the best people for the job regardless of the outcome.
“My big push with Marvel is hire the best person for the job,” Mackie said. “Even if it means we’re going to get the best two women, we’re going to get the best two men. Fine. I’m cool with those numbers for the next 10 years. Because it starts to build a new generation of people who can put something on their résumé to get them other jobs. If we’ve got to divvy out as a percentage, divvy it out. And that’s something as leading men that we can go in and push for.”
In 2015, two years before the release of “Black Panther,” Mackie sparked controversy when he said that the movie did not need a black director.
“I don’t think it’s important at all,” he told The Daily Beast. “As a director your job is to tell a story. You know, they didn’t get a horse to direct Seabiscuit! The thing is I don’t think the race of the director has to do with their ability to tell a story. I think it’s all about the director’s ability to be able to relate to that story and do it justice. I think men can direct women, and two of my greatest work experiences were with female directors. So I think it all depends. May the best man — or woman — win.”
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