Diversity in Superhero Films and Media

Is there enough diversity in superhero culture, particularly in movies and TV shows? Marvel’s Agent Carter, for example, contians an all-white cast. Marvel’s The Avengers displays a roster of white Avengers. While it’s true that Age of Ultron displays War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie), both actors of colour, they did not play significant roles. BUT are they a sign that there is more diversity to come? There is even talk of "white-washing" the role of The Ancient One in Marvel’s future Doctor Strange by having Tilda Swinton play an Asian character (possibly). Is it just Marvel? DC’s Arrow demonstrates diversity with one of their main characters: John Diggle (David Ramsey) and a recurring character: Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). DC’s The Flash stars Jesse L. Martin and Candice Patton as Joe and Iris West respectively, both actors of colour. Is superhero pop culture in need of more diversity? Thoughts?

  • Something to possibly touch on: the reaction of the general public when Don Glover expressed interest in playing Spiderman in the reboot (where the role went to Andrew Garfield). – Andie 9 years ago
  • I'm not overly familiar with DC adaptations but I think it's fair to say most superhero franchises could do a better job of diversifying. This goes for race, gender, and sexuality. Progress is certainly being made - with Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies, but more could be done. To add on to the topic of Spider-man a statement had been made that casting was leaning heavily towards a POC to play Peter Parker in the second reboot but when the short list came out, all the actors were white with Asa Butterfield as the lead contender. – Amelia Fairweather 9 years ago
  • This feels reductionist, as if just adding "people of color" to movies would fill a diversity quota. – T. Palomino 2 years ago

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