While many people may assume that, due to his color, actor Anthony Mackie may agree with the opinion that an African American director should make the film based on Marvel’s black superhero, Black Panther, he actually disagrees completely. Black Panther, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first standalone black hero film, is scheduled for release in 2018.
Mackie revealed in a recent interview that he does not believe it crucial for a director of the same color as the title character to make the film. Citing the example of a classic film, he made the controversial statement, “As a director your job is to tell a story. You know, they didn’t get a horse to direct Seabiscuit!”
The Our Brand Is Crisis actor went on to slam racial differences, saying that a person’s skin color or ethnic background definitely did not affect his/her directing ability. According to Mackie, what matters is the ability to relate to the story and “do it justice.” He also added that it’s not necessary for a man to direct it either. “May the best man—or woman—win,” Mackie said.
The Twitter community reacted pretty quickly to this loaded statement; some found it funny, while others were offended.
One user wrote, “The Seabiscuit comment from Anthony Mackie tells us a lot more about what Mackie thinks of himself that anything else.”
Another Twitter member said, “Anthony Mackie saying ‘they didn’t get a horse to direct Seabiscuit’ is why I love him.”
However, this is not the first time the 37-year-old has sparked outrage with a statement. Only last week, in a BET interview, he said, “I would 100 percent want to run Trump’s campaign. 100 percent. I mean, first that’ll be the best party ever when he won, and second, Trump’s an easy sell…” Upon realizing that people were taking him seriously, Mackie tweeted that it was not an endorsement for Trump, but a “bad attempt at a joke.”
Yamato, J., “Anthony Mackie Talks Marvel, Dictators, and How Republicans Suppress the Vote,” The Daily Beast, October 22, 2015.
Nessif, B., “Anthony Mackie Says Black Panther Doesn’t Need a Black Director—Here’s Why,” October 22, 2015;
Cummings, M., “Anthony Mackie Endorses Donald Trump: He Worked His Way Up From Nothing,” BET, October 19, 2015.
Anthony Mackie, Twitter post, October 19, 2015, 1:28 p.m.