Russos admit that Marvel could 'do better at diversity' after Anthony Mackie comments

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Joe Russo and Anthony Russo attend the #IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for IMDb)

Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have admitted that Marvel could “do better at diversity”, following comments made by Anthony Mackie.

Mackie, who plays Falcon in the MCU, criticised the studio for only employing Black creatives on Black Panther, while crewing the other movies upon which he has appeared with mostly white people.

He added: “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?”

Read more: Mackie on importance of playing Black take on Captain America

It seems the Russo Brothers concur, acknowledging their agreement with Mackie in a recent interview with MovieMaker.

Anthony Mackie attends Netflix's "Altered Carbon" Season 2 Photo Call on February 24, 2020. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Joe Russo said: “I think we can always all do better at diversity, constantly in this business, and in every facet of every industry — so he’s not wrong at all.”

He acknowledged that all involved with the MCU must “work harder to keep endorsing and supporting diversity” in terms of on-screen talent and crew.

Read more: Most exciting Disney+ originals in development

Anthony Russo said both of the siblings have a “ton of respect” for Mackie, whom they have directed in four of his six MCU appearances.

He added: “He is not only an amazing actor, but he’s an amazing person, and we’ve loved our collaboration with him.”

Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) prepares for battle. (Credit: Marvel)

Marvel has pledged to increase diversity in its Phase Four movies, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings marking the studio’s first Asian-led film.

The Eternals, meanwhile, will feature heroes portrayed by Brian Tyree Henry, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek and Kumail Nanjiani.

Read more: Chadwick Boseman almost played different Marvel hero

There is also a sequel to Black Panther in the pipeline, with Ryan Coogler returning to direct the movie, planned for May 2022.

For Mackie, meanwhile, the next step is to take on the mantle of Captain America as co-lead of Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Filming was postponed due to the coronavirus ahead of the planned release in August 2020.