Actor Michael B. Jordan is responding to critics about being cast as Johnny Storm in the upcoming film Fantastic Four in Entertainment Weekly.
You’re not supposed to go on the Internet when you’re cast as a superhero. But after taking on Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four—a character originally written with blond hair and blue eyes—I wanted to check the pulse out there. I didn’t want to be ignorant about what people were saying. Turns out this is what they were saying: “A black guy? I don’t like it. They must be doing it because Obama’s president” and “It’s not true to the comic.” Or even, “They’ve destroyed it!”
Not surprised by those comments.
He talks about how times have changed compared to when the Fantastic Four comics came out in 1961.
It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore. I can see everybody’s perspective, and I know I can’t ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books. But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961.
He also talks about how some folks may look at his casting as political correctness.
Some people may look at my casting as political correctness or an attempt to meet a racial quota, or as part of the year of “Black Film.” Or they could look at it as a creative choice by the director, Josh Trank, who is in an interracial relationship himself—a reflection of what a modern family looks like today.
I’m glad to see him responding to what he calls the trolls on the internet. If they don’t like the casting they don’t have to see the movie. Plenty of white actors have been cast in roles based on real life people of color.
You can read his entire column at Entertainment Weekly.