Mackie, who plays the high-flying hero Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, got candid in an interview with Fatherly about his thoughts on Black Lives Matter and the superhero franchise’s efforts to increase diversity.
In the interview published Wednesday, Mackie said Marvel doesn’t have a problem with racism, but with awareness.
“With Marvel – I really think with most companies – they feel like they’re doing what they should be doing,” he said. “In no way, shape or form is it enough.”
He added: “Anyone who’s big in our industry, if they have a party at their house, their party is 98% white. If you go to their office and their office is 98% white, that reflects their reality.”
Mackie added that being part of the Marvel films has been a “huge opportunity” and that he feels responsible to “make sure the Marvel universe is as good as can be.”
“My big thing is, put your money where your mouth is,” he said. “You can’t cast a Black dude as one of your main superheroes and not expect him to have that conversation.”
According to Mackie, he’s also been outspoken about increasing diversity behind the camera, like when he was offered his role on Netflix’s “Altered Carbon.” Mackie joined the sci-fi show this year.
“When they made me the offer, I said, ‘It’s very important to me that at least one of the directors is female and it’s very important to me that at least one of the directors is Black,’ ” he recalled.
Mackie also gave his thoughts on the ending of “Avengers: Endgame,” which saw Captain America, played by Chris Evans, pass on his iconic shield to Mackie’s Falcon.
“It was humbling, just simply because of my background and where I came from,” Mackie said of the moment. “It’s even more humbling considering where we are as a country. Marvel has done a lot as far as actors in front of the camera. Having Captain America pass the shield to a Black guy. Every studio has to do more about ushering more people into the business.”
This isn’t the first time Mackie’s critiqued Marvel Studios over diversity.
In Variety’s Actors on Actors issue in June, the actor expressed the problems he sees with the studio to Daveed Diggs, the star of TNT’s “Snowpiercer”
When asked by Diggs how he was interacting with Black Lives Matter, Mackie pointed out that he will be the lead Marvel actor for the first time in the Disney+ TV series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” due in August, just as Diggs is the lead of “Snowpiercer.”
“We have the power and the ability to ask those questions. It really bothered me that I’ve done seven Marvel movies now where every producer, every director, every stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white,” said Mackie.
He decried that there was one Black producer, Nate Moore.
“He produced ‘Black Panther,’ ” said Mackie. “But then when you do ‘Black Panther,’ you have a Black director, Black producer, a Black costume designer, 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?”
Contributing: Bryan Alexander