Captain Marvel is the typical Hollywood fantasy, with a woman playing the “captain,” plenty of heroic non-whites, and lots of bad white people. It will be released this Friday, March 8, which happens to be International Women’s Day. It’s all too trite for words.
But Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney may just be pushing their luck with Brie Larson, who plays the captain. Every chance she gets, she low-rates “white dudes,” who are important consumers of action movies.
Let’s see how important.
For the years 2014-2017, seven of the top 20 grossing movies were either from Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies or a DC Comics property. According to the 2017 Motion Picture Association of America report, 52 percent of the domestic audience for Wonder Woman was white, along with 58 percent for the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel and 51 percent for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The 2016 report showed that the audience for Captain America: Civil War was 48 percent white. In 2015, the audience for Avengers: Age of Ultron was 50 percent white. The 2014 MPAA report found that 57 percent of the audience for Guardians of the Galaxy was white along with 55 percent for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
This means money. For example, Avengers: Age of Ultron grossed $459 million in the USA, meaning whites shelled out $238 million for it. Captain Marvel is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe production with a female lead. Current projections show the moviecould have an opening of $100 million or more, which would put it in the top 10 openings for MCU.
Miss Larson has strong opinions about white men. In June 2018, while on stage at the “Crystal + Lucy Awards” (an event celebrating women in film), she ranted about “white dudes,” lamenting that they reviewed the majority of the prior year’s top grossing movies. To be exact, 64 percent of reviews were written by white men. She repeatedly asked, “Am I saying I hate white dudes?” Her response: “No, I’m not . . . [but if] you make the movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is an insanely low chance a woman of color will have a chance to see your movie and review your movie.”
She went on:
[Audiences] are not allowed enough chances to read public discourse on these films by the people that the films were made for. I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about [A] Wrinkle in Time. It wasn’t made for him. I want to know what it meant to women of color, to biracial women, to teen women of color, to teens that are biracial.
A Wrinkle in Time was one of 2018’s biggest bombs; Disney lost $100 million on it. But Miss Larson thinks it was worth it because it cast blacks in what were traditionally white roles.
Recently, she handpicked a black journalist, Keah Brown, for an interview with Marie Claireand elaborated on white men:
About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male. So, I spoke to Dr. Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive. After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of color, it sounded like across the board they weren’t getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren’t providing it, they all had different excuses.
Captain Marvel has a production budget of $152 million and MCU is risking a lot on the movie. Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige promises MCU will be more diverse (less white) and more female in the future, but all this blasting of “white dudes” may drive off an important part of its audience.
Why Marvel decided to cast a very vocal racist and sexist [actress who launches insults] aimed at white males, I’ll never know. If Robert Downey Jr. started saying that he didn’t care about the opinions of 40 year old white chicks and he doesn’t want to be interviewed by a white woman as its not inclusive enough, people would lose their minds.
There were so many negatives reviews that RottenTomatoes.com disabled the “Want To See [the movie]” feature. The attack had dropped the “Want To See” rating to 27 percent, the lowest of any MCU movie to date.
The Washington Post noted this type of online dogpile hit Black Panther and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Cheering the website’s decision to censor comments, author Kayla Epstein condemned the trolling when “a blockbuster is set to open with a lead who is not male or not white.”
“People are excited about the film, but trolls hijack the conversation, sometimes targeting the movie’s stars,” she wrote. “What should have been a good time instead becomes an Internet maelstrom in which a movie and its actors must not only promote the work but also simultaneously assert its right to exist.”
Complex, NBC, and Esquire also condemned criticism of Captain Marvel and Brie Larson, and most journalists have praised Rotten Tomatoes’ decision to disable “Want To See.” Brie Larson can criticize “white dudes” all she wants, but you better not criticize her.
There was a flyover of Hollywood by the Air Force Thunderbirds for the movie’s premiere; it got the comments it deserved: “I’m betting that Brie Larson made sure that the pilots weren’t white men.”
“They forgot the payload. Or the movie . . . . is already bombed.”
“Things the US military does: Promote movies, fight other people’s wars. Things they don’t do: Defend our own border.”
“I prefer entertainers who don’t HATE us.”
Disney and MCU need white men, and there’s an easy way to make a statement to Miss Larson. Stay home. Let her find out what happens when whites stop subsidizing people who hate them.