‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Star Anthony Mackie Says Black American Actors Aren’t Given Same Opportunities as Black British Actors

Anthony Mackie, the star of Marvel’s newest Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, has had a long career in the entertainment business. With a career spanning nearly 20 years, he’s worked his way up in the industry and become one of just a handful of Black actors to land a leading role in a Marvel production. 

As far as representation is concerned, many feel there aren’t enough Black actors with major roles in Marvel’s superhero films. However, Mackie also feels that in America, many of the best Hollywood roles are now going to British actors, which some industry professionals have a problem with. 

Mackie himself acknowledged the lack of equal opportunity for Black American actors during a recent interview, stating that most Black actors aren’t offered roles in British films in return. 

Anthony Mackie feels Black American actors aren’t given the same opportunities as Black British actors 

Anthony Mackie arrives at the premiere of Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War"
Anthony Mackie arrives at the premiere of Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

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Mackie recently shared his thoughts on the discrepancy during an interview with Jemele Hill.

“It’s not really a[n] issue,” Mackie said. “I haven’t really figured it out, I don’t know exactly what it is or why. I would just like for it to be a requited playing field.”

Mackie later elaborated on his feelings, noting that even though Black British actors get plenty of opportunities for roles in American productions, Black American actors are rarely given the same in return.

“If you do a British movie, put some American brothers in it,” Mackie said. “And I think that’s what the big beef is, or battle is—if there even is a conversation of frustration or beef on the topic—is the fact that Black American actors aren’t given those same opportunities. 

He doesn’t think Black British actors are necessarily better than Black American actors 

In the same interview, Mackie noted that British actors don’t necessarily provide better performances than American actors, so he doesn’t understand why there’s preferential treatment. 

“I don’t know why or what that is, because you can’t say that British actors can do a good American accent so they should play American,” Mackie said. “Because if I tell you do southern and you go, [immitates southern accent] ‘Hey y’all, I’m from the South,’ it’s not a southern accent, what part of the south you went to?”

He then doubled down on his earlier point, stating that he would like to see more Black Americans in British films since so many Brits are in major American pictures. 

“If I tell you to do a New York accent and you try to sound like Denzel, it’s just it’s not—and if I try to do a British accent you’re like, ‘Nah, that’s not British.’ It’s not requited,” Mackie said. “So you’re allowed to do a bad American accent but I can’t do a bad British accent? That’s crazy. So I think that’s what the big frustration is. That it should be requited. When you do whatever that show is all the girls are watching, Bridgerton, or whatever … if you do something like that, put a brother in there. Let a little bit of funk in there, let me get in there and funk it up.”