Anthony Mackie is gearing up to play the lead role in the MCU's Captain America spinoff The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, set to premiere on Disney+ later this year. But despite his promotion from Captain America's sidekick to the frontline of his own series, Mackie revealed in an interview for Variety with Daveed Diggs that he still feels the MCU is not hiring enough black talent, both in front of and behind the camera.
"When The Falcon and the Winter Soldier comes out, I'm the lead. When Snowpiercer comes 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."
The lack of diversity in MCU movies has come under fire in recent years. In many ways, Black Panther was created as a response to such claims, with Disney stressing during promotions for the film that they had hired almost exclusively black actors and crew members to tell the tale of the MCU's first Black superhero. But Mackie feels even such steps towards diversity were misguidedly racist.
"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's comments might get him in trouble with Disney execs, but as he himself pointed out, as one of the leads of the MCU, he is one of the few black actors who are in a position to draw attention to such issues in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time.
On their part, Marvel's Kevin Fiege and other showrunners have promised that future MCU movies will be much more diverse in terms of race and gender representation. Apart from Mackie's Disney+ show, a sequel to Black Panther is in the works, Black Widow's solo movie is finally coming out, and the standalone Shang-Chi movie will introduce the MCU's first solo Asian superhero.
Then there is the Eternals movie, which is said to feature the franchise's first LGBTQ character, and also a South Asian superhero played by Kumail Nanjiani. The next Captain Marvel movie is also reportedly set to feature the arrival of South Asian superhero Ms. Marvel.
In the meantime, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will see Mackie's Sam Wilson character deal with the loss of Steve Rogers, and the responsibility of carrying forward the legacy of Captain America while getting embroiled in a fresh government conspiracy alongside Bucky Barnes. This news comes from Variety.