Anthony Mackie Explains Why He Criticized Marvel Studios About Diversity


The movie industry has come a long way in its inclusion and portrayal of minorities since it began. Early silent films such as The Birth of a Nation portrayed African Americans as essentially uncivilized monsters only out to hurt the good white people. Even if you think we have a long way to go to be truly inclusive, one has to admit that the film industry has made serious advances.

Some major changes have been seen is in the latest Marvel movies. For the first time on the big screen, we have an African American Spider-Man via Into the Spider-Verse, and a female Spider-Man got to shine in the same movie. Black Panther not only won an Oscar for its costume design portraying traditional African clothing mixed with the modern superhero look (to say nothing of the Original Score and Production Design wins), but it also managed to be the first comic book movie to score a Best Picture nomination. And of course, it is impossible to mention all of that without also bringing up Anthony Mackie's popular portrayal of the character Falcon, who post-Avengers: Endgame, has taken up the mantle of the new Captain America. While it is not completely balanced, diversity in front of the camera has definitely come a long way.

However, Anthony Mackie still has criticisms for the lack of diversity behind the camera.

In an interview with Fatherly.com, Mackie said, "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." However, he does not think that Disney is intentionally racist, saying, "I don’t think what’s happening is a racism problem. I think it’s an unawareness problem."

It makes sense why he would think all of this. The movie industry was and remains predominantly white. The reasons for that are far too numerous and complex to get into with a short article like this, but strides have been made, though slowly. A Korean film just won Best Picture, Kathryn Bigelow became the first (though so far only) woman to win the Oscar for Best Director, and, overall, we are seeing an uptick in a more diverse group of filmmakers.

With Disney at the forefront of the movie industry, seeing it becoming more diverse behind the camera would pave the way for other studios to let more talent in. It would certainly benefit the movie industry to have more diversity in filmmaking, as it would add more perspectives and interesting life experiences to an industry in desperate need of fresh talent. Diversity is happening in front of the camera. Moana is a perfect recent example of this. On the other hand, the filmmakers, the real decision-makers, were all white. The cast was diverse, people making the movie were not.

America is known as a melting pot, and our biggest export to the world is, arguably, our culture. Our movies and TV shows give the rest of the world an idea of what our life is like (real or not) and what our values may be. If we start to diversify both in front of and behind the camera, it could allow for amazing new stories to tell. If anyone believes that they can truly break into the movie industry because the road has been paved by actors like Anthony Mackie and studios like Disney, it will benefit everyone. Everybody has a story to tell. Whether or not they get to tell that story depends on the people who came before. As Mackie said, he thinks it is an unawareness problem as opposed to deliberate systematic oppression. With celebrities and others like him, the problem of unawareness will fade away, allowing more people's stories to be told.

Source(s): The Direct

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