Marvel fans waited three years for the Netflix release of “Luke Cage.” The new Netflix series was announced in November 2013 along with the announcement of “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones.” The “Luke Cage” premiere supposedly “broke Netflix,” as the streaming company’s servers were down for an entire two hours after the show’s debut. Clearly there were a lot of people who were desperate to see “Luke Cage,” so why are these people so angry?
Many people took to Twitter this weekend to complain that “Luke Cage,” is racist because of the lack of white actors on the show. To clarify, “Luke Cage” has two caucasian actors on the show, Theo Rossi and Frank Whaley.
There is a realistic amount of white actors on “Luke Cage,” considering the show is centered in Harlem, New York, a predominately Black and Hispanic community. The idea of the show being “racist” because of its lack of white characters is almost comical. Of course if the roles were reversed, people would be unbothered by the lack of diversity with an all white cast. Unfortunately, Black people are not shocked when a show is predominately white. I love the television show “Friends,” but it aired for 10 seasons and did not have ONE major Black character until season 9, when Aisha Tyler starred in a few episodes as Ross’ girlfriend.
I know Janice, it sounds crazy, but it’s true and “Friends” is just one of many. The list of shows that lack diversity on television is a long one. So, did the same people who called “Luke Cage” racist, call “Friends” racist as well? The answer is: probably not.
The Luke Cage comics debuted in 1972 which was only eight years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Luke Cage comics were a breath of fresh air for Black readers who did not have a super-hero to identify with. In the words of Method Man, “There’s something powerful about seeing a Black man that’s bulletproof and unafraid.” “Luke Cage” is BLACK EXCELLENCE, encouraging us to “always forward,” which is making white supremacists pretty darn angry. Stay mad white people because “Luke Cage” is here to stay.