Like many others on social media and the Internet, I'm tired of the fake "woke" crowd on Twitter that always wants to pick a fight for the sake of being an attention grabbing idiot. You've seen these people around no doubt. They're the ones that made a big deal about Wonder Woman's armpits and how her marketing was so much lesser because WB didn't want to promote a female-led superhero movie. You know, because studios love losing money on projects that cost them millions of dollars to make.
Recently in the wake of Black Panther's smashing success for Marvel Studios, the "wokes" have turned their needlessly divisive attention to Wonder Woman, now claiming that there weren't nearly enough black Amazons in Themiscyra, and Green Lantern Corps proclaiming that a rumor about Tom Cruise potentially being Hal Jordan clearly indicates to them that WB hates diversity and is unwilling to follow Marvel's example with Black Panther by either only using John Stewart who is a black Green Lantern, or by making Hal Jordan black himself.
I hate giving any idiots attention because that's ultimately all they are after, but given that I am a black man myself I feel the need to specifically comment about how stupid and irrational this garbage line of thinking is. Look, I get that Black Panther is a triumph and it emboldens many of us to champion further efforts of diversity in our superhero films and in films in general, but that doesn't mean we get to pick silly ass fights about ignoring the non-black Green Lanterns or claiming that Wonder Woman is somehow a lesser movie because there weren't enough black Amazons in it.
I've said before many times that representation absolutely matters and that there is no such thing as "diversity for diversity's sake" like I have heard a lot of non-minorities claim in the past few years whenever one of their characters changes race or gender for a new comic run or adaptation, but that doesn't mean that representation or diversity only means one way or one group of people. In the past nine months we have had two HUGE culturally relevant superhero movies in both Wonder Woman and Black Panther. Both were huge successes at the box office, Black Panther still climbing high at the box office at the time this post was written, both brought in audiences full of people that didn't see the movie because it was a comic book film but because of the cultural significance of the event, and both made a definitive mark and change in the landscape for representation. In Wonder Woman's case it was about women being empowered on screen with a movie led by a female actress and directed by a female director. In Black Panther's case it's about black people being empowered on screen with a movie led by a majority black cast and directed by a black director. Fantastic on both counts.
But here's a question for the "woke" crowd: When Aquaman floods theaters in December as a superhero film with a Pacific-Islander lead actor directed by an Asian director, is that any less important for diversity than either Wonder Woman or Black Panther? If your answer is yes it is less important then you are part of the problem and you simply don't get what diversity actually is. It is far more than just one gender or one ethnicity, no matter how much either of those groups has fought tooth and nail over the decades to get to the mountaintop. Just because we as black people are immensely proud with Black Panther's resounding success doesn't mean that we get to take aim at Wonder Woman or Aquaman or any other movies that feature non-black casts and directors and call them out for "lack of diversity." Diversity means more inclusion of people of color, not exclusion of white people. The "wokes" don't get that at all, it seems. In fact if you've seen Black Panther (MINOR SPOILERS) then you could say that they are taking a "Killmonger" attitude to the situation which just means that they left the theater before T'Challa gave his speech to the United Nations or they weren't listening to what he said about how "the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers."
Calling out WB for a rumor that Tom Cruise could be Hal Jordan because you think it should be John Stewart and no one else is building a foolish barrier, not building a wise bridge and it looks even more foolish when you consider that anything we have seen or heard about the Green Lantern Corps movie to this point has indicated that it would be Hal Jordan AND John Stewart leading the movie, at a time when not only are both men present in the corps in the comics but are also joined by latina Green Lantern Jessica Cruz AND Lebanese-American Green Lantern Simon Baz in their own DC Comics series. THAT is diversity in its purest form right there.
Conversely, Black Panther shouldn't be looked at as a "cut and paste" situation for any and all POC-led superhero movies from here on out. At its core the reason Black Panther works is because Ryan Coogler told a great story and built a great cast and crew to help him tell it. That was unique to that movie's situation. By the same token, whoever directs Green Lantern Corps should also be focused on telling a great story and building a great cast and crew to help them tell it. The diversity should then come from the greatness of that storytelling, as it did with Black Panther. Representation is as much about the story itself being told as it is about who is in it or behind the camera. That's something else the "wokes" don't seem to understand at all.
Now look, this doesn't mean that there shouldn't be more superhero movies led by black characters so why don't you put your effort in to promoting THOSE movies to be made? Like Cyborg for example? You know, the black member of the Justice League that has now appeared in two DC Extended Universe films and has a backstory worth telling? Why is he NOT on your radar, "wokes?" Do you only care about CERTAIN black superheroes instead of all of them? Is it because you'd rather be irrationally angry than logically conducive to the conversation about diversity?
I'll give the "wokes" credit for one thing and one thing only: Their heart is in the right place, just like it was with Killmonger. They want more opportunities in these movies for black people and that is a great intention to have, but similar to Killmonger, their methods are madness and are just building a road to hell that is paved with those good intentions. Black people are not the only people of color on this planet and are not the only group in serious need of improved representation on screen in these movies and in Hollywood in general. What Black Panther is doing for black representation is what Wonder Woman did for female representation last year and what Aquaman will do for Pacific-Islander and Asian representation later this year. All of it counts for diversity and all of it matters for representation. If you choose not to believe that and just want to cherry-pick whatever you want and label it as "problematic" that's your business but you don't help the cause for representation and diversity that way. Quite the opposite, actually. It's a shame that so many of you are too foolishly building barriers to even see it.