Anthony Mackie is advocating for more diversity within the Marvel Cinematic Universe! As People mentions, the actor talked about previous remarks on the topic, explaining why the discussion is so important for him to have.
Mackie calls Marvel's diversity issue "an unawareness problem"
Mackie opened up to Variety in a recent interview, criticizing the fact that Marvel only hired Black staff on Black Panther. When he was asked to further explain his comments during an interview with Fatherly, Mackie was happy to elaborate. "I’ll say this: I don’t think what’s happening is a racism problem," he explained. "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," Mackie went on to say. "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."
Mackie wants to help make Marvel "as good as it can be"
Mackie shared that he sees being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as "a huge opportunity." That's exactly why the actor, who plays superhero "The Falcon," is determined "to make sure the Marvel universe is as good as it can be" when it comes to diverse representation!
As People mentions, Marvel has been working on paying more attention to diversity in the past couple of years. "When you have diverse voices, you get better stories and you get more exciting stories, you get more surprising stories," Marvel Studio president Kevin Feige said in 2018. "And that is something that is very clear."
Marvel to feature a more diverse slate of upcoming films
Marvel has had many feature films within its cinematic universe, but only two have been directed by non-white filmmakers. Oscar winner Taika Waititi directed 2017's Thor: Ragnarok and Ryan Coogler helmed 2018's Black Panther. Fortunately though, there are several more in the works!
Coogler is set to return for the Black Panther sequel, while Destin Daniel Cretton— who is half-Japanese— will be directing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao has been tapped to direct 2021's The Eternals, which happens to be Marvel's most diverse project yet in terms of casting!
As People shares, the movie will feature Pakistani, Latin, and Middle Eastern actors as part of its main cast, and even depict the first deaf superhero! The Eternals is also said to feature Marvel's first LGBTQ+ kiss in one of its movies. People also mentions that Mahershala Ali has been cast as superhero "Blade" in an upcoming movie based on the character!
Mackie talks upcoming series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Mackie also talked about his upcoming Marvel television series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier! The project will see him reprise his role as "Sam Wilson" aka "The Falcon," teaming up alongside Sebastian Stan's "Bucky Barnes," aka "Winter Soldier." "We’re shooting it exactly like a movie,” he told Fatherly of the Disney+ show.
"Everybody who had worked on TV before was like, ‘I’ve never worked on a TV show like this.’ The way in which we were shooting, it feels exactly like we were shooting the movie cut up into the show," Mackie explained. "So instead of a two-hour movie, a six or eight-hour movie."
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier isn't the only upcoming Marvel television show for Disney's streaming platform! Recently, it was announced that Owen Wilson had been cast in a major role in another new Disney+ show, Loki. Hopefully Mackie's comments about Marvel's diversity encourage the studio to become even more inclusive in the future!