Actress Jessica Alba said nice try but no cookie. Well, not literally, but she does believe Marvel movies still lack diversity and are “still quite Caucasian.”
“Even if you look at the Marvel movies – that’s the biggest driver of fantasy and what’s happening right now in entertainment because it’s sort of the family thing – it’s still quite Caucasian,” Alba told Glamour UK. “I would say I was one of the few back in the day… And it was before Marvel was sold to Disney, but it’s still quite more of the same.”
Despite this year’s slate of Marvel Studios properties featuring Ms. Marvel, a Disney+ series dedicated to the first Muslim superhero, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was the follow-up to the widely successful 2018 film Black Panther. Alba says her push for greater diversity comes from a desire for younger people to see themselves represented in Hollywood.
“I just think more for the younger people who are coming up, who are going to be our future leaders, it’s important for them to see the world on screen, or in stories, in the dreams that we create as entertainers; it reflects the world that they’re in,” she explained.
Alba, who is Latina, played Susan Storm in 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2007’s Rise of the Silver Surfer, both films were distributed by 20th Century Fox, well before the merger with Disney.
Marvel Studios has made progress towards becoming more inclusive recently, with The Falcon taking over as Captain America, releasing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in 2021 with an Asian-American superhero, and getting Latino actor Oscar Isaac to play Moon Knight in the series of the same name, Complex reported.
Alba previously opened up about her own experiences as an actress who endured an industry that grappled to put her in a box due to her heritage.
“They couldn’t figure out my ethnicity. I would always go out for ‘exotic,’” she said in a 2017 interview with PopSugar. “They were like, ‘You’re not Latin enough to play a Latina, and you’re not Caucasian enough to play the leading lady, so you’re going to be the ‘exotic’ one.’ Whatever that was.”