A Marvelous Problem

marvel-logoComic book movies are some of the most watched movies every year by worldwide audiences. But as a wise man once said, with great power, comes great responsibilities. I am Linus Schill, and join me as I talk about the current state of the comic book genre, specifically at Marvel Studios, hence the title, and some of the problems this major part of Hollywood holds.

I love comic book movies. They are the some of the best movies to see in theaters every year for the experience, but are also some of the best movies of the year across all genres. The studio that seems to really be making all the right decisions is Marvel Studios. Marvel Studios is who gives us Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America, etc. They have made the most movies out of any studio, and have the most cohesive cinematic universe. However, there is one major problem that gets more and more noticeable with every new film they announce. Specifically, every new actor they announce.

As of right now, the Avengers team has six white actors, and five white males, (Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor, and Black Widow). And as far as the main team goes, zero actors of color. While Nick Fury was the director of SHIELD, he no longer is, and has to live in the shadows with barely any screen time. The only black actors besides Nick Fury are all side characters that appear as a partner to the white male hero of the movie, Falcon and Rhodey.

Marvel, moving forward, had the option of seeking to change this, and introduce more diverse actors and actresses, given that they have the power and resources to get nearly any actor they want. But alas, they did not, and with Phase 3 of Marvel’s cinematic universe moving forward, we see four more white actors cast as major superheroes. In this announcement they also revealed a Black Panther movie. Follow me here: Does the only black Avenger have to have originated as the king of a fictional African country? While I think this story could be very interesting to see on-screen, why couldn’t they introduce a hero with fantastic abilities like Quicksilver, or Scarlet Witch, or Doctor Strange, or Ant-Man. This brings the diversity ration from white actors to black actors 10:2 (if you count Nick Fury).

Now the solution? Well, it is simple, just not for studio executives: either cast actors of color as white superheroes or introduce more black superheroes. Those are their two options. They have done each of those once. Again, I neglect to count Falcon because he was Captain America’s side kick in the Winter Soldier. Because if I did start counting the side characters as well, the numbers would be even more heavily white. It’s embarrassing that a studio as powerful and successful and trusted as Marvel, I would have hoped that they would be working more towards racial and gender diversity.

Thank you for sticking with me through all of this, and I would love to hear any opinions that you might have, so feel free to leave them in the comments below. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, and a happy New Year. I will be back talking about the New Year in my most anticipated movies of 2015.

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