A few weeks ago, MCU actor Anthony Mackie stirred a great deal of controversy when he took Marvel Studios to task over its lack of diversity behind and in front of the camera. In a new interview, Mackie clarified that he was not accusing Marvel of racist behavior, but 'unawareness'.
"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. 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."
Mackie's fresh comments might help put to rest some of the controversy generated by his earlier words when he had blasted Marvel Studios for their lack of diversity, and even used the film Black Panther as an example of systemic bias in the company's creative process.
"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. 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."
Mackie will next be seen in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which will see him as Sam Wilson aka Falcon teaming up with Sebastian Stan in the role of Bucky Barnes the Winter Soldier, to take on fresh dangers threatening the safety of the MCU. Originally slated to hit Disney+ in August 2020, the release date for the series has been pushed back indefinitely due to the lockdown.
Although Mackie's MCU character has so far been known to fans as Captain America's sidekick, Avengers: Endgame saw Steve Rogers passing on his shield to Sam, and Mackie is both aware of and humbled by the significance of the gesture.
"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."
These quotes were first published by Fatherly.