Jessica Alba still sees a lot of room for improvement.
In a new Glamour U.K. cover story, the “Sin City” star talks about the increasing diversity onscreen and why there is plenty more work to be done.
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“Yeah. It’s a business initiative for people now that they realize how much money they can make,” she says. “It’s something they care about, which is fine. How they get there really doesn’t matter. You’re like, ‘Great. Now you realize there’s a whole group of folks that you just frankly left out of the conversation because you just didn’t even see them. They were there the whole time.’
“And I guess it’s the people in charge. However they get there, it really genuinely doesn’t matter. I just think more for the younger people who are coming up, who are going to be our future leaders, it’s important for them to see the world on screen, or in stories, in the dreams that we create as entertainers; it reflects the world that they’re in.”
Alba points out Marvel movies specifically.
“Even if you look at the Marvel movies — that’s the biggest driver of fantasy and what’s happening right now in entertainment, because it’s sort of the family thing — it’s still quite Caucasian,” she says.
The 41-year-old recalls being “one of the few back in the day” when she was cast as Sue Storm in the “Fantastic Four” movies in the ’00s.
“And it was before Marvel was sold to Disney,” she says, “but it’s still quite… more of the same.”
On Twitter, actress Jameela Jamil, who is set to co-star in the series “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law”, pushed back on Alba’s comments about diversity in Marvel properties.
Writing that “Marvel are *way* ahead of everyone else in diversity,” Jamil pointed to “Black Panther”, “Ms. Marvel”, “Shang-Chi” and “She-Hulk” as examples.
I think one can say there is always room for improvement everywhere, but I would say Marvel are *way* ahead of everyone else in diversity and it has changed beyond recognition in the past 10 years. Just saying. Black Panther, Ms Marvel, Shang Chi, and She Hulk come to mind. https://t.co/MRSPmE8MK7
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) July 21, 2022
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“Black Panther”, released in 2018, was the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature a person of colour in the lead.
In the Glamour interview, Alba also talks about the lack of maternity rights in the U.S.: “That is why a lot of women fall out of the workforce because there is no real support system in our country. And there’s a ton of guilt and shame and bias, people in power who just simply have no idea what it’s like and what’s going on.”
Read the full interview in the Glamour U.K. July/August digital issue online now.