Anthony Mackie has been with the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was the first time he played Sam Wilson, aka Falcon. It’s a good gig, and it got even better when he was bequeathed Cap’s mighty shield, but the actor isn’t afraid to call BS when he sees it. He did just that during a recent interview with Variety’s “Actors on Actors,” during which he criticized Marvel for the lack of diversity on their crews.
Mackie was speaking with Daveed Diggs, the Hamilton, Black-ish, and Blindspotting actor, who’s currently the lead on the TV version of Bong Joon-ho’s film Snowpiercer. He pointed out that with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the show that reunites him with Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes, coming to Disney+, that means they “both have the power” to demand their employers don’t employ a strictly white crew.
“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 said. The major exception is one of the MCUs that didn’t feature him:
“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, 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?”
Mackie hoped to build a more diverse future:
“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 resume 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.”
Elsewhere in the chat, Mackie described The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as not feeling like a typical TV show. “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,” he said. “So instead of a two-hour movie, a six or eight-hour movie.”