Jessica Alba Calls Marvel Movies Too Caucasian

By Charlene Badasie | Published

jessica alba

Calls for further diversity efforts in the entertainment industry have finally started to materialize in major movie franchises. Star Wars and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe have both seen big expansions in their on-screen representation. Following 2018’s Black Panther, the studio really stepped up its policy on inclusivity. But no matter how hard movie bosses try to do right by their audiences, it’s still not enough for some folks. Jessica Alba recently shared her thoughts on the state of the film industry while taking aim at Marvel Studios.

Speaking to Glamour UK, the actress said the superhero franchise is still far too dominated by white actors. And while she believes there has been representational growth, she claimed it wasn’t sincere. Instead, Jessica Alba called the shift toward more inclusive casts “a business initiative” for those who realized more diversity leads to increased profits. She noted that more improvement is needed and specifically targeted the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Even if you look at the Marvel movies… it’s still quite Caucasian.”

Jessica Alba then mentioned herself as one of the first non-white actors to be cast in a Marvel property, referring to her role in 2005’s Fantastic Four. “I would say I was one of the few back in the day. And it was before Marvel was sold to Disney… But it’s still quite… more of the same,” she told the publication. Ironically, the 41-year-old (who is of Mexican descent) had no problem changing her naturally dark hair to blonde and allowing filmmakers to brighten up her complexion so she blended in with her superhero co-stars at the time.

Despite the technical problems in her argument, Jessica Alba’s casting as Sue Storm in the first two adaptations of Marvel’s First Family marked a major point in superhero movies. It meant the race of a character in the pages of comic books no longer prohibited an actor of a different race from playing them on the big screen. There were a few bolder attempts at the same thing in the years that followed. Some went almost unnoticed, like Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin in Daredevil. While others, like Michael B. Jordan’s casting in 2015’s Fantastic Four caused fiery discourse among fans.

Contrary to Jessica Alba’s claims, diversity in superhero movies isn’t a big deal to most fans – if it’s done right. Phase Four of Marvel’s movies and television shows feature more people of color in front of the camera than ever before. This includes Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, The Falcon, and the Winter Soldier as well as the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It only becomes a “problem” when a legacy character is changed so dramatically (race, gender, or otherwise) that they are no longer recognizable.

Meanwhile, Jessica Alba’s acting career has been rather quiet in the last few years. Most recently, she starred opposite Gabrielle Union in L.A.’s Finest. But the action comedy series about two female detectives was canceled after two seasons. However, the Marvel alum is set to appear in Trigger Warning from director Mouly Surya. The story follows a traumatized veteran who inherits her grandfather’s bar and faces a moral dilemma after learning the truth behind his untimely death.