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Anthony Mackie, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Falcon and heir apparent to Captain America, has been increasingly vocal about race during a summer when political action, protests, and demonstrations have increased around the world in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. Mackie recently spoke about the power of getting out the vote; now the actor is looking even closer to home, calling for increased diversity behind the scenes in the MCU.
Speaking to Snowpiercer star Daveed Diggs through Variety, the actor who will next star in the Disney+ show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier explained that he wants Marvel to do better about diverse hiring because, based on his experience on half a dozen of their superhero movies, they're starting from zero.
"When The Falcon and the Winter Soldier comes out, I'm the lead," Mackie told Diggs. "When Snowpiercer came out, you're 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."
Mackie also took issue that Black Panther, filmmaker Ryan Coogler's solo adventure for T'Challa, was the sole MCU entry that boasted a bevy of Black talent on both sides of the camera.
"We've had one Black producer; his name was Nate Moore," Mackie said. "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?"
This segregated representation certainly isn't Mackie's ideal — and something he's actively working to change: "My big push with Marvel is hire the best person for the job," Mackie explained. "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. And that's something as leading men that we can go in and push for."
Marvel Studios recently tweeted out its support for the Black Lives Matter movement, while parent company Disney has pledged $5M to the NAACP and other non-profit organizations. The MCU has earned over $22.5B at the box office.