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Things We Saw Today: Maybe We Need a Better Way to Ask Actors About Fandom

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With the Fourth Wall dead and gone, actors are asked to know a lot more about their fandom than ever before. That plus social media making them more accessible means there is just a lot of discourse around. Some are good at navigating it. Some are not. Anthony Mackie is more in that latter camp.

Mackie was “asked about the series’ portrayal of the relationship between Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes, and why the show had not presented the duo’s relationship as more than just friendly,” according to Gizmodo, and he responded:

So many things are twisted and convoluted. There’s so many things that people latch on to with their own devices to make themselves relevant and rational. The idea of two guys being friends and loving each other in 2021 is a problem because of the exploitation of homosexuality. It used to be guys can be friends, we can hang out, and it was cool. You would always meet your friends at the bar, you know. You can’t do that anymore, because something as pure and beautiful as homosexuality has been exploited by people who are trying to rationalize themselves. So something that’s always been very important to me is showing a sensitive masculine figure. There’s nothing more masculine than being a superhero and flying around and beating people up. But there’s nothing more sensitive than having emotional conversations and a kindred spirit friendship with someone that you care about and love.

“Sam and Steve had a relationship where they admired, appreciated and loved each other,” Mackie continued. “Bucky and Sam have a relationship where they learn how to accept, appreciate and love each other. You’d call it a bromance, but it’s literally just two guys who have each other’s backs.”

Look, while I absolutely read the response to the question as messy, especially with all the “masculine” stuff being thrown around, why is Anthony Mackie being asked about the fandom reading his character as queer? The answers as to why the MCU has not made Sam/Bucky canon are that (a) they (the people in charge) are afraid to do something that bold and (b) they don’t see the characters as gay.

The MCU needs better queer representation than just putting it on the fans to theorize it into existence, but also, how many times are we going to ask outwardly cishet actors to speak on these issues? Especially when we are asking them to rationalize the choices of powerful entertainment industry executives.

(via Gizmodo, image: Marvel)

  • Meghan Markle has released her first statement since giving birth. “While this poem began as a love letter to my husband and son, I’m encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere.” (via Cosmo)
  • Joseph Fiennes talks about the season finale of The Handmaid’s Tale and his terrible character, Commander Fred Waterford. (via EW)

  • Salma Hayek usually does her own stunts, but there was one she absolutely refused to do. (via Yahoo)
  • Good morning, Usnavi” has lit up the entire TL. Thank you, Jimmy Smits. (via The New York Times)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.