Actress catches flak for saying minorities need to ‘stop stealing white people’s superheroes’
Actress Michelle Rodriguez challenged racial minorities in Hollywood to “develop their own mythology” and tell their own stories instead of recasting traditionally white characters as different races.
“It’s not about taking Catwoman or Superman or Green Lantern or whatever these characters are and trying to make them fit to whatever cultural background you are,” the “Fast and Furious” star said in a video posted on Facebook on Saturday.
“I think that people should stop being lazy and that people should make an effort in Hollywood to develop their own mythology.”
Within 24 hours of its posting on Saturday, the video had been viewed nearly 2 million times.
The comments come after Rodriguez was caught on camera Friday saying that minorities should stop “stealing … white people’s superheroes.” Rodriguez, who identifies as Puerto Rican and Dominican, was walking to her car when TMZ asked her about rumors that she might be cast in the traditionally male role of superhero Green Lantern, last played by Ryan Reynolds.
She dismissed the rumor as “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” She followed it up with, “It’s so stupid. It’s like, ‘Stop stealing all the white people’s superheroes.’ … Make up your own. You know what I’m saying?”
Apparently, not everyone felt what she was saying. Comic book fans were among the first to pile on by pointing out that the title of Green Lantern has gone to people of different colors and gender in print and onscreen, from black to Arab-American.
Still, Rodriguez seemed to have a bigger point in mind. Hollywood is full of recent examples of people of color being cast in traditionally white superhero roles, from Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch in the new “Fantastic Four” to Will Smith suiting up as Deadshot for “Suicide Squad.”
Feeling that her comments had been “taken out of context,” she posted a Facebook video captioned “About that whole superhero thing.”
“I stuck my foot in my mouth once again,” she began the video. “I have a tendency to speak without a filter. Sorry about that.
“What I really meant was ultimately, at the end of the day, there’s a language, and the language that you speak in Hollywood is successful franchise,” she said. “I think that there are many cultures in Hollywood that are not white that can come up with their own mythology.
“Instead of trying to turn a girl character into a guy or instead of trying to turn a white character into a black character or a Latin character, I think that people should stop being lazy and that people should make an effort in Hollywood to develop their own mythology.”
Rodriguez said she intends to take up her challenge as she ponders upcoming projects.
“It’s time to stop, stop trying to take what’s already there and try to fit a culture into it. I think it’s time for us to write our own mythology and our own story.”
By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
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