There’s no doubt that diversity has become more of a priority in current superhero stories. Robin was recently confirmed to be bisexual, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Black Panther have proven stories lead by Black actors will do well, and Superman may soon be revealed to be gay. Still, not all fans think enough has been done on this front, and one actress in particular agrees.
In a recent interview with Inverse, Thandiwe Newtown, known for her role as Val in Solo: A Star Wars Story, talked about her thoughts on current superhero movies and how the focus on the genre at the moment is something she doesn’t care for.
“[It’s] not my cup of tea, I’m afraid. We have superheroes on the ground right now, and they’re the ones that we should be celebrating and supporting. This idea that there are these fantasy superheroes just disconnects us from really finding the superheroes that are actually here. But I am loving the reimagination of comic books that we’re seeing right now, like Thor: Ragnarok, which is more comedic but at least is shaking up that kind of franchise and fucking with the system.”
She then went on to discuss how she was impressed that it decided to tackle the Tulsa massacre in HBO’s recent adaptation of Watchmen.
“I am loving what happened with [HBO’s] Watchmen. It’s so profound that they used Tulsa as the origin story for Watchmen. Most Americans didn’t know about the Tulsa massacre and they’re trying to get rid of critical race theory!”
“If you get rid of critical race theory, are you going to imprison the people that write Watchmen? The director of 12 Years a Slave? Lisa Joy, for writing about the reevaluation of history? Opposition to critical race theory is like Scientology, in that it wants to erase history.”
She then discussed how ignoring history could be detrimental not only to the creation of movies and films but to people who have to live with the results of that history. She also talked about how critical race theory could inspire art and those who create it.
“[I]f you erase history, it’s like trauma survivors not dealing with their trauma. If you don’t deal with your trauma, it is going to bite you in the ass, because it’s going to come up in ways that you don’t understand. You have to deal with your trauma. And that is what critical race theory is. That is what a reimagining of history is. That is what we’re starting to see in art. And that is why we have to fight to critique critical race theory because it’s inspiring so many of us artists.”
Thandiwe Newtown‘s latest project, the sci-fi noir film Reminiscence, is currently available to stream on HBO Max.