A Marvel Star Is Trending Because of Racism Allegations

By Michileen Martin | 1 month ago

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Back in early 2014, Samuel L. Jackson famously humiliated KTLA entertainment news anchor Sam Rubin on live television after Rubin confused Jackson with Laurence Fishburne. “We don’t all look alike!” Jackson yelled at Rubin. “We may be all Black and famous, but we all don’t look alike!” Jackson was already a Marvel star at that point and when Fishburne joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Dr. Bill Foster in 2018’s Ant-Man & The Wasp, he became one as well. Now another actor — who, as chance would have it, joined the MCU in the same Marvel movie that Fishburne starred in — is experiencing something very similar, and social media is going rightly nuts about it. At least two publications incorrectly identified Randall Park — who plays Jimmy Woo in both Ant-Man & The Wasp and WandaVision — as Ali Wong’s husband Justin Hakuta.

Yesterday news broke that comedian and actress Ali Wong was splitting with her husband Justin Hakuta. In their reporting of the story both Parade Magazine and MSN — in tweets that have since been deleted — posted pictures of Randall Park, implying that he was Hakuta. In fact, while Parade posted a picture of Park with Wong, MSN posted a photo only of Marvel star Randall Park. While the tweets were deleted, screenshots were captured. You can see both below.

We haven’t seen anything from MSN yet, but Parade Magazine responded on Wednesday with an apology. The message acknowledged their mistake and expressed regret and understanding. They singled out Marvel star Randall Park, Ali Wong, and Justin Hakuta as being wronged parties. It seems more than a little relevant to note that in spite of Parade’s twitter feed igniting the controversy, and in spite of the apology being a pinned tweet, as of the writing of this article — roughly 12:30 PM EST, April 13 — the tweet had only attracted 11 likes. You can see the apology below.

Park and Wong both famously starred together in, not a Marvel flick, but the meme-generating rom-com Always Be My Maybe. It’s more than likely this has something to do with the resulting confusion. However, it doesn’t seem like social media’s branding of this as an allegedly racist micro-aggression is unwarranted. After all, Helena Bonham Carter has starred in plenty of Johnny Depp movies as a love interest, and yet as far as we know few publications have confused Carter with Amber Heard. Twitter has plenty to say on the subject, and the fans aren’t holding back. At least one Twitter user agrees with us, giving another example of a white “movie couple” who weren’t treated the same.

Not surprisingly, one of Park’s most well-remembered appearances gets brought up a lot in the discourse, though it’s not from his Marvel projects. Park famously played an actor pretending to be Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) in an episode of The Office in order to prank Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). Halpert and his wife (Jenna Fischer) went so far as to doctor photographs for the deception. Fans made sure to get their “Asian Jim” references in.

At least one guy took it somewhere absolutely no one expected. We’re not sure if we should be offended. We think we’re just confused and maybe a little impressed.

There’s been no public response yet from Marvel star Randall Park, Ali Wong, or Justin Hakuta. In the case of Wong and Hakuta, they’re clearly dealing with a lot of other huge issues right now.