During a remote segment of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” issue, Marvel star Anthony Mackie chatted with Snowpiercer actor Daveed Diggs about the Black Lives Matter movement and diversity, or lack thereof, in Hollywood. Mackie directly called out Marvel for its lack of diversity behind the scenes, particularly in terms of producers.
Having appeared in seven Marvel films since 2014, the 41-year-old actor has had plenty of experience working within the massive cinematic universe. According to Mackie, There has been a significant lack of Black producers on the set. His first film in Marvel was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, while his latest movie was Avengers: Endgame.
Diggs asked his fellow actor about the ways he finds himself interacting with the moment, in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement.
For the Hamilton star, he noted that he tries to affect different kinds of representation and improve things in the jobs he already has under his belt. He asked if Mackie felt the same about his participation.
In response, Mackie noted that he would be the lead actor in the upcoming Disney Plus series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where he will reprise his role as Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon. He added that, like Diggs, who is the lead on Snowpiercer, they are two Black men with “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,” said Mackie.
He continued, saying that the only Black producer he could think of was a man named Nate Moore, who produced Black Panther. However, Mackie noted that the Chadwick Boseman film had an almost entirely Black cast and crew.
“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?”
Mackie further expressed that he believes Marvel should always hire the best person for the job, because he wants to help build a new generation and give more people ample opportunity to flesh out their résumés and learn skills they can take to future projects.
The Miss Bala actor also touched on some of his other projects, such as Altered Carbon, a science fiction series that airs on Netflix. He stated that representation needed to be part of a project from the very beginning.
Altered Carbon previously experienced a whitewashing controversy in its first season, and Mackie noted how “drastically” the series had changed from Season 1 to Season 2 since he came aboard.
He explained that during the Season 2 production, everybody was checking for errors every day, and he believed that’s how it should be from the conception of the project, to prevent them from having to later apologize for doing something that everybody knows is stupid except you.