The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Anthony Mackie discusses diversity at Marvel

Marvel's Captain America: Civil War..Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie)..Photo Credit: Film Frame..© Marvel 2016
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War..Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie)..Photo Credit: Film Frame..© Marvel 2016 /

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier headliner Anthony Mackie discusses the lack of diversity behind the camera in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Snowpiercer‘s Daveed Diggs recently interviewed Marvel Cinematic Universe star Anthony Mackie as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors issue.

During the interview, Mackie discussed joining the cast of the second season on Netflix’s Altered Carbon and his role in the MCU – the latter of which prompted a conversation about issues of diversity at Marvel.

Mackie, who is set to reprise his role as Sam Wilson/Falcon in Disney Plus original series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, will co-lead the show with Sebastian Stan (who in turn is reprising his role as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier). The Marvel Studios production will follow Mackie’s Falcon as he struggles with the pressure of living up to the legacy of Captain America – a mantle he was handed by Steve Rogers himself in Avengers Endgame.

During the Actors on Actors Online Edition on Variety, Diggs discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and how there’s an expectation of celebrities with a platform to publicly share their opinions. When Diggs asked Mackie what are the things he feels “compelled to do” in regards to pro-representation, this was his response:

"“When The Falcon and the Winter Soldier comes out, I’m 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 recalled how Black Panther changed the game, but that he found it frustrating that it was only this film that adopted such an approach.

"“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.”"

Recently appointed CCO and President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, and fellow producer Victoria Alonso have addressed the issues of diversity in the past. At one point, according to Mark Ruffalo, Feige was considering leaving Marvel due to a lack of diversity.

Marvel has since attempted to seek more representation both in front of and behind the camera. The aforementioned Black Panther was a huge success, as was the female-led Captain Marvel. Looking ahead, Ryan Coogler is set to return to write and direct Black Panther 2; Chloe Zhao is directing The Eternals – a film expected to introduce the first major LGBTQ+ character in the MCU – and Destin Daniel Cretton is directing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

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Anthony Mackie stars in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier which is expected to resume filming relatively soon. As of right now, it’s unknown when it will arrive on Disney Plus.