Bleats

Anthony Mackie Says Marvel’s Racial Diversity Problem Begins Behind The Scenes

“I’ve done seven Marvel movies now…every single person has been white.”

Variety’s Actors on Actors video series has given us a few gems in the past, but perhaps no interview has been as important as Marvel’s Anthony Mackie and Daveed Diggs’. In this recent chat, these two legends discussed diversity and representation within Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, both on and off the screen. 

We spoke about this on today’s episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…

While you may know Anthony Mackie as the lead in Black Mirror’s ‘Striking Vipers,’ this actor is known to the MCU as Sam Wilson or Falcon. His first appearance came in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but since then he’s appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame as well as the upcoming Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (where he plays the lead).

The conversation between these two started by discussing not only the Black Lives Matter movement but also the projects they’ve been involved in.

Daveed Diggs begins by asking Anthony Mackie “What are the ways that you find yourself interacting with the moment?” adding on “I find a lot of my interactions are just trying to make things better in the gigs I have in front of me… How can I affect different kinds of representation? What is the thing you feel compelled to do? What is your participation in this moment?”

To this, Anthony Mackie replied, “When The Falcon and the Winter Soldier comes out, I’m the lead for the show,… When Snowpiercer came out, you’re the lead of the show. We have the power and the ability to ask those questions.”

Anthony Mackie then went on to discuss his disappointment at Marvel’s representation off the screen saying, “It really bothered me that I’ve done seven Marvel movies now… every producer, every director, every stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white.”

Anthony Mackie continued, “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?”

Anthony Mackie finalised his point, saying: “So, my big push with Marvel is – you know –  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.”

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Florence Pugh Sets Ego Aside, Acknowledges Her Own White Fragility

“I was uneducated. I was unread.”

In a lengthy Instagram post, Florence Pugh has acknowledged her white privilege and apologised for any offence caused. 

We spoke about this on today’s episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…

Recently, social media has become somewhat of a place full of PR disasters. Those who have done problematic things are suddenly being held accountable and what do you know, every few posts is another Notes-App apology. But while Florence Pugh hasn’t been “cancelled” by the Internet yet, she’s being proactive and apologising for actions she’s done in the past

The Little Women actress has named three instances that she deems she should apologise for in a lengthy, proactive, Instagram post.  

Florence Pugh says that she first became aware of her cultural appropriation after learning the history behind cornrows. In reflecting on a conversation with a friend at the age of 18, Florence Pugh discusses the first time she became aware of “cultural appropriation” after she donned the hairstyle.

“She began to explain to me what cultural appropriation was, the history and heartbreak over how when Black girls do it they’re mocked and judged, but when white girls do it, it’s only then perceived as cool,” Florence Pugh said. The actress also detailed how she initially felt “defensive” but now realises that was her “white fragility coming out.”

Also in the post, Florence Pugh reflects on her previous use of Henna for body art. Even though Florence Pugh was aware that Henna (known as mehndi on the Indian subcontinent) became a fashionable trend, she initially felt that cultural appropriation didn’t apply to her as she had been taught Henna by an Indian woman. But, upon reflection, Florence Pugh understands why that is wrong, saying: “I wore this culture on my terms only, to parties, at dinner… I too was disrespecting the beauty of the religion that had been taught to me those years ago.”

Florence Pugh also apologised for appropriating Rastafarian culture. She said, “I was 17. I braided my hair and painted a beanie with the Jamaican flag colours and went to a friend’s house; proud of my Rastafarian creation. I then posted about it the next day with a caption that paraphrased the lyrics to Shaggy’s song ‘Bombastic’.”

“I am ashamed of so many things in those few sentences… Growing up as white and privileged allowed me to get that far and not know… I was uneducated. I was unread.”

All-in-all, she’s ashamed of her actions and she’s proactively apologising, saying: “I cannot dismiss the I actions I bought into years ago, but I believe that we who were blind to such things must acknowledge them and recognise them as our faults, our ignorance and our white privilege and I apologise profusely that it took this long.”

While we shouldn’t put Florence Pugh on this pedestal for doing what she’s done, it’s important that we recognise that she’s has done is good and also what so many celebrities have failed to do, which is the bare minimum.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

The People Who Laughed At Paul Rudd As Ant-Man Have Some Explaining To Do

How dare you.

To anyone who laughed at Paul Rudd for his casting as Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we just wanna talk. 

We spoke about the MCU on this episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…

Paul Rudd is an ageless, Hollywood legend who has just recently dropped a bombshell on us. In a new interview, Paul Rudd opened up about being laughed at for playing Ant-Man. Now, do we have to remind all of you that Ant-Man is iconic?

Ant-Man initially appeared in Peyton Reed’s 2015 film, Ant-Man, but he has also appeared in Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man & the Wasp, and Avengers: Endgame. As a result, Ant-Man is one of the core second-generation Marvel characters that’s sure to keep the legacy alive when older legends have their stories wrapped up. Plus, you don’t need us to tell you that these are some of the best films in the franchise. 

To anyone who thinks that Ant-Man’s powers are dull, you’re wrong. Ant-Man can shrink and eventually grow in size, in addition to commanding an army of ants. And while he doesn’t have any weapons like his Marvel peers, Ant-Man’s abilities are straight-up legendary, so that’s that on that. 

In an interview with Variety’s “Actors on Actors At Home” series, Paul Rudd was joined by Chris Evans to discuss all things Marvel. And sadly, in this interview, Paul Rudd not only talked about how people laughed the concept of Ant-Man, but they laughed at his casting in the role. 

Paul Rudd said, “I would say, ‘I got this part, I’m playing Ant-Man,’ and then they would say, ‘Well what does Ant-Man do?’ I would say, ‘He can shrink to the size of an ant but he retains strength and he can also control ants and talk to ants.’ And people would laugh as I’d explain what the character does.”

The Ant-Man continued: “I’m not the first guy that people would think of when it comes to playing a big superhero. I wanted to try and make a character, a superhero, who was kind of a regular person. The whole world of it, of superherodom, seemed overwhelming and it’s like, ‘What do you do with this?’ you know, to make it identifiable.”

“These characters are important to many people and you want to treat them with respect and want to do the character a service. And certainly, the character – when he was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and everyone at Marvel – has been around for a while.” You can watch the full chat here:

Ultimately, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man is a match made in heaven. Not only does the role have an abundant history in the Marvel comics, but the way Marvel has leaned into the comedy of the super-power is incredible. Plus, you’d rather be Ant-Man than an 8-feet, green machine. 

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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