Michael B. Jordan Responds To Trolls Saying A Black Man Can’t Play Johnny …

24 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fear of a Black Superhero: Michael B. Jordan and the Importance of Colorblind Casting.

After online commenters expressed their displeasure over the fact that the actor is playing a character who was blond and blue-eyed in the comic, the “Friday Night Lights” and “Fruitvale Station” star penned an essay in Entertainment Weekly addressing the topic: Sometimes you have to be the person who stands up and says, “I’ll be the one to shoulder all this hate. In an Entertainment Weekly essay published Friday, the movie star responded to the online backlash over the decision to cast a black actor as Johnny Storm/Human Torch in the upcoming reboot of the Marvel superhero franchise. Yet Jordan couldn’t resist going online to see the reaction, and was dismayed by those who couldn’t fathom him as the brother of Susan Storm (Kate Mara). “Turns out this is what they were saying: ‘A black guy? Jordan as the Human Torch in Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four was something that angered a vocal section of fandom, who wanted to see a cinematic Torch as white as the original comic book character.

But after taking on Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four—a character originally written with blond hair and blue eyes—I wanted to check the pulse out there. Jordan was announced as the new face of Storm in Marvel’s reboot, he says he expected some pushback. “You’re not supposed to go on the Internet when you’re cast as a superhero,” Jordan wrote in an open letter for Entertainment Weekly. “(But) I didn’t want to be ignorant about what people were saying.” “I can see everybody’s perspective, and I know I can’t ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books,” Jordan adds. “But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961.” An editor for The Guardian received an email on Friday, accidentally forwarded by the Bank’s head of press, which details plans to research the financial repercussions of a British exit from the European Union.

Maybe, if I set an example, Hollywood will start considering more people of color in other prominent roles, and maybe we can reach the people who are stuck in the mindset that “it has to be true to the comic book.” Or maybe we have to reach past them. Comic book fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the release of this summer’s Fantastic Four, but it’s easy to see that some are happier than others about the film. Nicknamed Project Bookend, the not-so-secret work was meant to be carried out by just a few senior officials, and examine how a “Brexit” would affect the country’s export’s and major cities’ economies.

The email noted that any questions from the press should be answered by saying that “there is a lot going on in Europe in the next couple of months…that would be of concern to the Bank.” A note to the Bank’s staff on the project: Take a good, long look at the “CC” field before you send any of Project Bookend’s results. Sarah Eberspacher Irish voters overwhelmingly said “yes” to same-sex marriage on Saturday, with 62.1 percent in support of amending the constitution to legalize gay marriage, The Associated Press reports. This week, Jordan himself decided to address the critics directly. “Some people may look at my casting as political correctness or an attempt to meet a racial quota, or as part of the year of ‘Black Film,’” wrote Jordan. “Or they could look at it as a creative choice by the director, Josh Trank, who is in an interracial relationship himself—a reflection of what a modern family looks like today. This is a family movie about four friends—two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister—who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team. John Lyons, one of just four openly gay members of the country’s 166-member parliament, credited young voters with shifting Ireland’s historically conservative constitution in a more liberal direction.

Marvel didn’t introduce its first major black superhero until 1966 (Black Panther) and its first specifically African American superhero until 1969 (Falcon). When one considers how often black characters have been downplayed or revised in favor of white characters, deciding to go in the opposite direction isn’t so much the “politically correct” thing to do—it’s absolutely necessary if we’re going to combat the cultural tendency to prefer white faces over all else. But that doesn’t mean that all-white superhero teams and characters must be set in stone; especially if we recognize that these books being all-white in the first place was the result of white supremacist culture. The image of the superpowered white man coming to save the day is ingrained in our consciousness—and is, of course, just one facet of how whiteness and white supremacy has been communalized all over the world.

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