Admittedly, I don’t know much about the Marvel world in comic form or its big screen counterparts. I’ve seen a few of the films, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan, and there are plenty of intricacies about the storylines and the Marvel universe as a whole that I simply don’t know. What I do know, however, is the racist backlash Michael B. Jordan has been experiencing ever since being cast as The Human Torch in Fantastic Four is absolutely ridiculous and completely disgusting. And frankly, he’s not going to take it lying dow anymore.
In an op-ed for Entertainment Weekly posted this week, Jordan hit back at whiners who couldn’t deal with the fact that a black man had been cast in the role of a character that was originally described — in 1961, lest we forget — as “blond-hair, blue-eyed”. How dare they actually reimagine this part and update it to reflect the world we live in TODAY? I mean, it’s not like books ever get changed when they’re made into movies! It’s not like white people don’t play people of colour all the time! What were they thinking?!
The whole post is well worth a read, but here’s my favourite part:
Sometimes you have to be the person who stands up and says, “I’ll be the one to shoulder all this hate. I’ll take the brunt for the next couple of generations.” I put that responsibility on myself. People are always going to see each other in terms of race, but maybe in the future we won’t talk about it as much. 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.
To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends’ friends and who they’re interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It’s okay to like it.
Too true. Step away from the computer, haters.