After making the biggest hit in film history with Avengers: Endgame, you would think the directing duo Joe and Anthony Russo would be happy with their run in the MCU. But there is always room for improvement, and recently Joe Russo admitted in an interview with MovieMaker that the superhero franchise could do with more diverse characters.
“I think we can always all do better at diversity, constantly in this business, and in every facet of every industry. I think that we all have to work harder to keep endorsing and supporting diversity on both sides of the camera.”
The words were in reference to MCU star Anthony Mackie and his recent comments where he blasted the MCU for not hiring more black talent for their movies. Anthony Russo also weighed in on the matter while expressing his fondness for Mackie.
“We have a ton of respect for Anthony Mackie. He is not only an amazing actor, but he’s an amazing person, and we’ve loved our collaboration with him.”
The whole issue started during an interview with Variety, in which Mackie spoke about working on his upcoming MCU spinoff series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and how different the environment for the production of the series was from the set of Black Panther:
“When The Falcon and the Winter Soldier comes out, I’m the lead. 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.”
“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? 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.”
Mackie’s comments ignited a fierce online discussion regarding Disney’s practices in terms of diversity in filmmaking, particularly when it comes to the MCU. As one of the biggest names in the MCU creative team, the Russo brothers’ support for Mackie can only be a good sign.
In the coming days, the MCU is poised to become more diverse in comparison to its past films. The Eternals will introduce the franchise’s first gay superhero, while the upcoming Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, and Shang-Chi will add further race and gender diversity to the Marvel roster of superhero films.
Behind the scenes also, Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland, is going to give a feminist perspective to the Avenger’s long-awaited solo movie. There will always be those saying Marvel is not doing enough to promote diversity, but it seems the studio is at least making an effort in setting the course in the right direction going forward. This latest news comes from MovieMaker.