It’s been said a million times over, but Black Panther marks a huge milestone in Hollywood. Not only is it the biggest movie to be led by a non-white superhero, but it hopefully marks the first in many to be as such in the future.
Given the age we live in, political correctness is a term that gets thrown around left and right, and Black Panther is not immune, and I get it. It’s easy to roll one’s eyes at the idea of “pushing” diversity onto our superheroes, but at the end of the day, it’s worth taking a look at it from a different perspective.
Speaking with Vulture, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige express the importance of having more diverse superheroes in their films:
“It’s something that’s easy to take for granted, growing up in the United States as a white male, that my cinematic heroes look like me. I never thought they looked exactly like me, because I’m not a big athletic hero, but they do. It’s something that over the course of these ten years, having a certain amount of power over what type of movies are made and what type of actors we hire, I want everybody to have that feeling. We don’t take it for granted that people want to see themselves reflected in our heroes and our characters. That’s been the case in the comics for years, and, finally, that’s the case in the movies, and will only continue from here.”
Admittedly, diversity isn’t really something I cared too much about growing up. In my eyes, it was more important that Hollywood pick the best person for the role, rather than try to shoehorn diversity into it. But it wasn’t until I spent a short time in the business that it became clear just how much the default is white. I’m not saying hiring white actors is bad, by any means, but rather how easy it is to revert to the status quo.
It’s because of this that it’s important for us to applaud projects like Black Panther. Applaud it for trying to widen the range of the types of people on screen, and applaud it for laying the foundation for other films that will help other kids to see themselves on the big screen.
What do you think of Feige’s comments? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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