Opinion: Is Anthony Mackie Prepared To Be Captain America?

Written by Jerry L. Barrow

With the embargo on Avengers: Endgame spoilers formally lifted, followers have begun to debate and debate the finer factors of the movie, notably the ending. Whereas sure deaths have actually rocked the MCU, it’s a passing of the torch that’s giving many followers pause.

In a really emotional closing scene, Steve Rogers, a.ok.a. Captain America (performed by Chris Evans), returns from his journey via time to position the Infinity Stones again of their respective timelines. However whereas he was out enjoying a cosmic recreation of Bejeweled, Steve took a while — actually — to dwell a full life together with his soul mate, Peggy Carter.  

In doing so, he embraces his mortality and ages significantly by the point he returns to the current day. Although clearly at retirement age, he is aware of that there’s nonetheless a necessity for Captain America. (Dwelling via the ’60s and ’70s will try this to you.) Steve then fingers his protect (which we presume he acquired from the previous since his was destroyed within the battle with Thanos) to none aside from Sam Wilson, a.ok.a. Falcon, performed by Anthony Mackie. Initially, even Sam insists that “it appears like another person’s” as he holds the disc of Vibranium, however graciously accepts the reward pledging to “do his finest.”

We first meet Mackie’s Falcon in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He’s shortly established as being a loyal and courageous soldier who develops a robust friendship with Cap, so his option to be the subsequent Captain America will not be odd. Moreover, within the Marvel Comics, there was a Black Captain American named Isaiah Bradley and Sam Wilson does assume the mantle of Captain America (coincidentally in the identical yr as The Winter Soldier movie), so the transfer will not be with out precedent.

“It means loads for my sons to see Captain America as a Black dude,” Mackie mentioned in an interview with IMDB.com. “And for me to be that dude to my sons. It’s thrilling.”

Anthony Mackie (L) and Chris Evans work together with the viewers throughout the Southeast Asia premiere of Marvel’s ‘Captain America: Civil Battle’ at Marina Bay Sands on April 21, 2016.

Nevertheless, some followers have expressed hesitation on the transition, not as a result of Mackie will not be a succesful actor (odd grooming selections be damned), however as a result of his offline persona has a historical past of being lower than heroic.

As I discussed earlier than, Mackie’s performing resume is greater than respectable. He’s come a good distance from being Eminem’s foil, Papa Doc, in eight Mile, and has added various roles like Jack Armstrong in She Hate Me, Sergeant JT Sanborn within the Oscar-winning The Damage Locker and the angelic Harry Mitchel in The Adjustment Bureau. However throughout the promotion of mentioned movies, Mackie has made statements about race and the enterprise of Hollywood which have rubbed many the mistaken manner.

In 2011, Mackie was doing interviews for The Adjustment Bureau and informed TheGrio that on the subject of Hollywood, “I feel proper now [Blacks] are being kinda lazy on our recreation. There are sufficient brothers with distribution offers and manufacturing offers the place we ought to be making our personal films.”

Then in 2015, he made some extra controversial statements to TheGrio in regards to the film Selma whereas selling his movie Black or White. He mentioned then that Selma didn’t win any awards as a result of “Individuals are simply bored with being bombarded with race proper now.”

The irony was not misplaced that he was selling a movie about race, but it surely was his subsequent feedback that made the headlines. When requested about nationwide protests about racial profiling, Mackie supplied an anecdote about talking together with his nephew that appeared guilty Black individuals for sporting their hair a sure manner.

“Like my nephew needed to develop dreadlocks. I’m like tremendous, I’ll sit you down and I’ll watch ‘The First 48’ with you, and everyone you see on that present that’s doing one thing mistaken, they’re Black dudes with dreadlocks. So, do you need to be seen as a part of the issue or do you need to be a person?” he mentioned.

“Let’s simply say you could have locks and also you strolling down the road. The police pull you over and say you match the outline of any individual. You begin yelling and arguing with the cops. Subsequent factor you pressed up in opposition to the wall going to jail for one thing you’re not even concerned in simply since you appear like any individual and also you don’t know the best way to deal with your self.”


“Making these statements alone doesn’t disqualify Mackie from being Captain America, however Chris Evans’ social media feedback about race and politics current a stark distinction.”

The feedback have been ripped for blaming the victims of profiling and ignoring the truth that Black women and men with all forms of hair are nonetheless profiled regardless. Mackie later claimed the statements have been taken out of context however doubled down, saying that the burden of notion was on Black individuals being profiled, not the system that was discriminating in opposition to them. From MLK to Mike Brown, a conservative coiffure has been no protection in opposition to being killed by brokers of white supremacy. As for TheGrio, the location stood by their reporting of Mackie’s feedback.

Later that yr Mackie was selling his movie Our Model Is Disaster and made statements, which he later mentioned have been in jest, about supporting Donald Trump. His character was a political analyst, so he was requested if he would moderately work with Hillary Clinton or President Trump, and he responded “Trump. He’s a simple promote. He’s the voice of the working man.” Mackie later mentioned that he was talking as his character, not himself.

Making these statements alone doesn’t disqualify Mackie from being Captain America, however Chris Evans’ social media feedback about race and politics current a stark distinction. He has been relentless in his criticism of President Trump and uncompromising in calling out racism, like when the MAGA hat-wearing college students from Covington Catholic Excessive Faculty harassed Vietnam veteran and Native American elder Nathan Phillips.

“That is appalling. The ignorance. The gall. The disrespect. It’s shameful. And sadly on model,” Evans tweeted. “When one thing like this isn’t even shocking, it’s proof to our place within the cycle of recreating our darker chapters. That Native American man confirmed unimaginable energy and dignity.” 


Evans will not be with out his faults, having met with alt-right Texas politician Dan Crenshaw throughout a go to to the Capitol, merely for having a Captain America protect for an eyeball. His followers weren’t happy. The assembly appeared to foreshadow the launch of the bipartisan web site A Beginning Level, which is able to goal to characteristic “political discourse from either side of the aisle.” 

Whereas followers have been none too thrilled about Cap cavorting with Nazis, participating is best than silence. As compared, Mackie tweeted about 20 instances in all of 2018, they usually have been largely about soccer and his films.

There’s nothing mistaken with being dormant on Twitter, however as Jesse Williams mentioned in his 2016 speech on the BET Awards, “In case you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, you then higher have a longtime file of critique of our oppression. In case you have no curiosity, in case you have no real interest in equal rights for Black individuals, then don’t make solutions to those that do. Sit down.”

Chris Evans has raised the bar very excessive on the subject of confronting America’s issues, leaving some massive purple boots to fill. If Anthony Mackie actually desires to select up the mantle of Captain America, he’s going to wish a dose of empathy to go together with the Tremendous Soldier Serum.



(Photograph by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for MTV, Yong Teck Lim/Getty Photographs)

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