Hollywood actor Michael B. Jordan’s comments in a GQ profile is causing some major controversy. It’s not the same controversy that his colorblind casting in Fantastic Four caused in the Marvel universe, but it’s cut from the same cloth.
In the GQ interview, Jordan discussed not being emotionally available for the “females” and danced around whether or not he dated Kendall Jenner, but while those talking points raised eyebrows, it’s Michael B. Jordan’s stance on wanting white roles that got people’s attention.
Jordan, who rose to fame with roles on The Wire, Friday Night Lights, and later gained critical acclaim playing the late Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station, said that he wants to go out for white roles.
“I told my team after I finished ‘Chronicle’ [the successful low budget sci-fi movie that first partnered him with ‘Fantastic Four’ director Josh Trank] that I only want to go out for roles that were written for white characters. Me playing the role will make it what it is.”
To some people, this means that he isn’t supporting the black community and isn’t successfully providing a positive narrative in films and television by neglecting black roles. Then again, it’s important to consider why Jordan wants to play all-inclusive roles. While Hollywood has gotten a bit better with the inclusion of minorities, for the most part, African-American roles are still side characters, characters that don’t make it out alive, or stereotypes.
It can be argued that the reason people are upset with Michael B. Jordan is because these comments come right after he posted an #AllLivesMatter hashtag to his Snapchat. The combination of the two turned out to be explosive.
Twitter decided to drag Michael B. Jordan.
Ummmmm didn’t Michael B Jordan play Oscar Grant a BLACK MAN arrested & killed because of POLICE BRUTALITY. But he don’t see black & white? K
— Chihiro Ogino (@WickedBeaute) September 23, 2015
I don’t get how Michael B. Jordan can be on the “All Lives Matter” tip knowing as much as he knows about the life and murder of Oscar Grant — the other one (@imfromraleigh) September 23, 2015
You can still date white girls if you say #BlackLivesMatter, Michael B. Jordan. I promise
— Double E (@lonievora) September 23, 2015
Some accused the actor of playing into the Hollywood system.
Michael B Jordan knows that if he says “Black Lives Matter” on Monday he’s doing Tyler Perry movies by Friday.
— Parappa Tha Trappa (@GuyNamedTawanda) September 23, 2015
Michael B Jordan says “All Lives Matter” cuz the people that sign his checks say “All Lives Matter” — Parappa Tha Trappa (@GuyNamedTawanda) September 23, 2015
[Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images]