Marvel Star Accuses Hollywood Of Racist Behavior When Casting Villains

Kumail Nanjiani states that brown people being cast as villains in movies tends to send the wrong message.

By Douglas Helm | Published

kumail nanjiani

Kumail Nanjiani is ready to play more villain roles in his career. In a recent interview with Esquire, Nanjiani pointed out that playing the bad guy in films and TV is becoming more difficult for actors of color, due to Hollywood’s good intentions going a little too far and misunderstanding the issue. Najiani said, “good intentions can sometimes lead to misguided solutions: If the bad guy is a brown guy, what message is that sending,” adding “And that’s just as limiting as anything else.”

Kumail Nanjiani definitely has a point. While Hollywood is making a more concerted effort for projects to be more diverse, some execs are taking this the wrong way and assuming that they shouldn’t cast people of color or other underrepresented communities in morally dubious roles. This actually can take away opportunities from these performers, with a smaller pool of roles available for them to play.

This is why Kumail Nanjiani seems to be pretty happy with his recent role in the Hulu series Welcome to Chippendales, where he plays a more morally ambiguous character who was an accessory to murder. Of course, since the series is based on a true story and the actual Indian founder of Chippendales, Somen “Steve” Banerjee, the role needed to go to a person of color. Nanjiani pointed out that if the series wasn’t based on a true story, he may not have had the opportunity to play the role.

Kumail Nanjiani eternals

With his villainous turn in Welcome to Chippendales, Kumail Nanjiani now has a villainous role and a major hero role under his belt. Nanjiani appeared in the MCU project Eternals as the immortal being and Bollywood star Kingo. Kingo was a fast favorite from the divisive MCU film, so there is definitely hope that we’ll be seeing more of his character in future Marvel projects.

While we got some clever Easter Eggs of Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special in the form of movie posters, we haven’t seen him officially appear since 2021. A scrapped Moon Knight cameo also prevented us from getting a Kingo appearance in that series. While the future of the Eternals lineup is uncertain, it seems unlikely that Marvel would just throw the characters away altogether.

It seems likely that Marvel will use Kumail Nanjiani, along with his other fellow Eternals, in some capacity in the future. It could be in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars or it could be in the numerous Disney+ series and blockbusters that Marvel has lineup up for Phase 5 and Phase 6 of its upcoming schedule. As always, Marvel likes to keep its secrets close to the vest, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, you can see Kumail Nanjiani indulge his dark side in the Hulu limited series Welcome to Chippendales which is currently available to stream in full. The Robert Siegel-created series stars Nanjiani as the founder of Chippendales Somen “Steve” Banerjee along with a cast that includes Murray Bartlett, Annaleigh Ashford, Juliette Lewis, Michael Graceffa, Adam Ray, Zack Palmisano, Felix Rossi, Andrew Rannells, Quentin Plair, Spencer Boldman, and more. Stay tuned for more news on Najiani’s upcoming projects.