Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), is pushing back against racist outrage over his role as superhero Johnny Storm in the upcoming Fantastic Four film.
In a powerful essay published in Entertainment Weekly, Jordan addressed critics who haven’t yet joined the rest of us in 2015.
Sometimes you have to be the person who stands up and says, “I’ll be the one to shoulder all this hate. I’ll take the brunt for the next couple of generations.” I put that responsibility on myself. People are always going to see each other in terms of race, but maybe in the future we won’t talk about it as much. Maybe, if I set an example, Hollywood will start considering more people of color in other prominent roles, and maybe we can reach the people who are stuck in the mindset that “it has to be true to the comic book.” Or maybe we have to reach past them.
To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends’ friends and who they’re interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It’s okay to like it.
The 28-year-old Bay Area native first rose to fame portraying 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who was shot and killed in 2009 on New Year’s Eve by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer Johannes Mehserle. Since then, Jordan has appeared in a number of films, though none have caused the same intense reaction as his upcoming role in Fantastic Four.