Thursday, October 22, 2015

Anthony Mackie Doesn't Care If 'Black Panther' Director Is Black: "They Didn’t Get a Horse to Direct 'Seabiscuit" 

Unlike many fans, Anthony Mackie — AKA the Falcon in Marvel's Captain America and Avengers movies — isn't concerned whether or not the studio hires an African American director to take charge of its first black superhero movie, 2018's Black Panther.

"I don’t think it’s important at all," the actor told The Daily Beast during a promotional appearance for his current project, Our Brand is Crisis. "As a director your job is to tell a story," he continued. "You know, they didn’t get a horse to direct Seabiscuit!"

Mackie went on to say that he doesn't believe that the race of a director "has to do with their ability to tell a story," adding, "I think it’s all about the director’s ability to be able to relate to that story and do it justice. I think men can direct women, and two of my greatest work experiences were with female directors. So I think it all depends."

At one point, Selma director Ava DuVernay was in the mix to take on Black Panther, which features Chadwick Boseman in the title role, before dropping out because she didn't "see eye to eye" with Marvel over the direction of the project. The studio is in negotiations with Joe Robert Cole to write the movie. Relatedly, Marvel's publishing arm announced last month that MacArthur "Genius" grant winner Ta-Nehisi Coates will write its new Black Panther comic book, launching in January.

The comments, which have already drawn criticism on social media, put the actor into hot water for the second time this week. An interview with BET on Monday, in which he appeared to endorse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, required a hasty takeback on Twitter after fan complaints. 

by Graeme McMillan

C'mon dude, really. That's almost analogous to saying "As an actor your job is to play a character." followed by "You know, they didn’t get a dolphin to play Jaws." So lets recap; the Black Panther can be played by a white man as long as said white man can act and despite Flipper's excellent screen test he'll never play the shark. Have no fear, soon the so called color line will vanish and all so called blacks will be just another shade of white. For real.

The question I pose in regards to this position as it concerns BP's director is; why is it necessary for a so called black person to make such a statement? At one point there are screams for diversity and inclusion and at the other end denial of one's ethnic identity, cultural uniqueness and a lack of ethnic solidarity. Such is the cost.

Of course its true that a non so called black person could successfully direct a BP film, however this penchant for stating the obvious seems to rear it head whenever so called blacks want to show race, culture, gender and political neutrality. The reasons for such behaviors are all too transparent. Its like saying a search for a black director will not yield a qualified candidate.

Of the more than 600 major Hollywood films released since 2007, less than 7 percent had black directors according to a study released by the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. With “a ratio of over 16 non-Black directors working to every 1 Black director,” and only two black women directors among the films considered.

I can appreciate Marvel hiring Afrakans (so called blacks) to write and draw the BP's comic as well as their attempt to bring Afrakans (so called blacks) to write and direct the BP movie.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Afrakans at the helm of the Black Panther franchise, in fact it is most right.

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