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Anthony Mackie says he's been "really bothered" by the MCU's lack of representation

Illustration for article titled Anthony Mackie says he's been "really bothered" by the MCU's lack of representation
Photo: Mark Davis (Getty Images)

After cementing Falcon into the MCU across numerous films and an imminent Disney+ series, Anthony Mackie is hoping he can make a positive impact on the franchise’s much-discussed problems with representation. The actor got candid about the issue during a recent installment of Variety’s “Actors On Actors” with Snowpiercer’s Daveed Diggs.


After Diggs asked how Mackie was responding to this current “moment”—referring to global calls for racial equality and justice following the murder of George FloydMackie opened up about his experience in the MCU.

“When The Falcon And The Winter Soldier comes out, I’m the lead. When Snowpiercer came out, you’re the lead. We have the power and the ability to ask those questions,” he said. “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.”

Mackie goes on to discuss Black Panther, the only Marvel film with both a Black filmmaker and a Black producer at the helm. “We’ve had one Black producer; his name was Nate Moore. He produced Black Panther. But then when you do Black Panther, you have a Black director, Black producer, a Black costume designer, 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?”

He continues: “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. I’m cool with those numbers for the next 10 years. Because it starts to build a new generation of people who can put something on their résumé to get them other jobs. If we’ve got to divvy out as a percentage, divvy it out. That’s something as leading men that we can go in and push for.”

Watch the full interview below. The relevant discussion begins around the 16-minute mark.

Marvel has taken some steps towards greater representation over the past year. The MCU’s Phase 4, for example, includes Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, a Blade movie with Mahershala Ali, and a Thor sequel with Natalie Portman’s Jane at the forefront.


The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, meanwhile, is slated for an August release on Disney+. Mackie discussed the series a bit in the above interview, emphasizing that, despite being a TV show and not a film, it will still “look like a Marvel movie.”

“We’re shooting it exactly like a movie,” he said. “Everybody who had worked on TV before was like, ‘I’ve never worked on a TV show like this.’ The way in which we were shooting, it feels exactly like we were shooting the movie cut up into the show. So instead of a two-hour movie, a six or eight-hour movie.”


Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.