Marvel: Anthony Mackie Is ‘Bothered’ by the Franchise’s Lack of Diversity Outside of ‘Black Panther’
The diversity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is improving in front of the camera. But fans don’t typically get to see if there’s any diversity behind the camera. Anthony Mackie talked about being bothered by the franchise’s lack of diversity and how Black Panther was the exception.
Ryan Coogler pushed for many hires for ‘Black Panther’
Ryan Coogler co-wrote and directed Black Panther. He was also responsible for multiple hires behind the camera for the movie.
Coogler wanted Hannah Beachler to be the production designer and Rachel Morrison to be director of photography. He talked about recommending Beachler for the job.
“It wasn’t a ‘no,’ but they wanted to meet her,” Coogler told the Los Angeles Times. “As soon as they said that, I was good because I knew she’d come in and blow their minds. You can’t meet her and not hire her.”
Beachler claimed that she was told she was an unexpected hire. “We weren’t planning to hire you…but then you came in and you blew us away,” she said Kevin Feige told her.
She said this made her even more determined to do her job well. “I’m sort of OCD when it comes to going the extra mile because I wasn’t going to have Ryan say my name and not come in and do justice by that,” she said. “Because it’s not just an opportunity for him and an opportunity for me, but it’s an opportunity for the next people.”
Anthony Mackie is bothered by the lack of diversity
Mackie had a conversation with Daveed Diggs for Variety’s Actors on Actors issue. The Marvel actor talked to the Snowpiercer star about their careers. Diggs then asked Mackie how he’s participating in the latest moment of the Black Lives Matter movement changing things in Hollywood.
“When The Falcon and the Winter Soldier comes out, I’m the lead. When Snowpiercer came out, you’re the lead,” Mackie started. “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.”
He continued by mentioning how the hiring for Black Panther was very different from the rest of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Mackie said this points out a big problem.
“We’ve had one Black producer; his name was Nate Moore,” he continued. “He produced Black Panther. But 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?”
Mackie then added, “My big push with Marvel is 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. Fine.” Time will tell if there will be any kind of response or change with Mackie’s public statement.