Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo agree with Anthony Mackie about the need for more diversity on Marvel sets, telling MovieMaker: “We can always all do better.”
Mackie and the Russo Brothers all joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2014’s Captain America: the Winter Soldier, and have worked together on four MCU movies in all. Mackie recently criticized a lack of behind-the-scenes diversity on Marvel films.
When asked about those comments, the directors sided with the actor.
“I think we can always all do better at diversity, constantly in this business, and in every facet of every industry — so he’s not wrong at all,” said Joe Russo. “I think that we all have to work harder to keep endorsing and supporting diversity on both sides of the camera.”
Anthony Russo further emphasized the brothers’ support and affection for Mackie. “We have a ton of respect for Anthony Mackie. He is not only an amazing actor, but he’s an amazing person, and we’ve loved our collaboration with him.”
Mackie spoke about behind-the-scenes diversity in a recent Actors on Actors interview with Variety. He plays Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon, in the MCU, and in the upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
“It really bothered me that I’ve done seven Marvel movies where every producer, every director, every stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white,” said Mackie. “We’ve had one Black producer — his name is Nate Moore.”
In our interview with the Russo brothers, they also talked about how they’ve made it a priority to help underrepresented filmmakers break into the industry. One example is Relic, currently the top movie in the country. The horror film from their indie company, ABGO, comes from first-time director Natalie Erika James.
The brothers are also helping aspiring filmmakers with their new Instagram Live series Russo Brothers Pizza Film School. On this Friday’s episode, they’ll talk with fellow Marvel director Taika Waititi about 1980’s Flash Gordon, which was directed by Mike Hodges and might be best known for Queen soundtrack. They talked to us on MovieMaker Interviews about why the film was so important to them — and how it influenced Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
We also talked with the Russo brothers about how growing up in Cleveland shaped their values, how they met Steven Soderbergh through Slamdance, and more.