So, About That ‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot… Why Isn’t Sue Storm Black?
The teaser trailer was released this morning, and I am SO NOT HERE for this ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot. While the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch sounds progressive on paper, it is disheartening to see Kate Mara cast as his sister, Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman. The backstory as to why the brother and sister are two different races has yet to be revealed (some have theorized an interracial marriage between Johnny and Sue’s parents and others have posited that one of them was possibly adopted), but it most certainly would have been easier to just cast the entire Storm family as Black- so why didn’t they do that?
As Chris Rock pointed out while doing his ‘Top Five’ promo tour a few months ago, although Hollywood is still sorely lacking in diversity, Black actors are definitely seen as somewhat viable in film. Black actresses, on the other hand, are practically invisible, and a moviegoer can go months without seeing a Black woman in a speaking or main role. As generally happens when racism and sexism intersect, we also often see a complete and utter disregard for Black women in the generally white, Male-driven superhero films: white women are typically utilized to fulfill the ‘sex/gender’ quota, meanwhile Black men are hired to fit the ‘race’ quota. There is no space for Black women (not named ‘Storm’).
Without even getting into the conversation of why there are still race and sex/gender quotas in Hollywood, it is distinctly telling that Kate Mara was cast to play Sue Storm and not a Black actress. It feels very deliberate, and gives the sense of taking one step forward, and two steps back. Instead of REALLY taking the plunge and casting a full Storm family of Black actors, they tokenize Michael B. Jordan and continue the idea that Black female superheroes don’t exist or somehow aren’t as viable as their male counterparts. And that fucking SUCKS.
Thanks for watching.
'The 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Casting: Progressive Or Not?'
'Chris Rock Pens Blistering Essay on Hollywood's Race Problem: “It's a White Industry”:'
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