The Diversity of Luke Cage
When it was announced that Marvel was releasing another Netflix show, I was automatically excited. I am a lover of Marvel anything so that just immediately excites me for anything Marvel that is announced and released. That being said, when Luke Cage was announced I had no idea what it was about and I kind of just ignored it (very much like Daredevil and Jessica Jones I wanted to be surprised). When I saw him for the first time in Jessica Jones, I immediately became more interested in the idea of the show.
How did he get to the way he is today? Is the rest of the cast going to be African American as well? I was very much pleased when I finished the show and saw that every single character (excluding one) was either African American, Latino, or of Asian decent (i’m pretty sure they are Asian, please correct me if I’m wrong in the comments).
And then I realized: Luke Cage is the very first model of an extreme diverse cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, I am aware that Black Panther’s cast right now consist of four African Americans, but think about it. Black Panther is still in the pre-production stage.
Luke Cage was Marvel’s first and probably most diverse cast so far in any production that they have put out. There was a singular white male in the whole of the show (unless there was some that I missed but I’m not really counting minor characters) and everybody else was either African American, Latino or Asian. I don’t think a lot of people realize how important this actually is, even if in some cases the roles are extremely stereotyped (black people in gangs, like hello stereotype).
This opens up a window for Marvel, seeing the success that Luke Cage has given them will now hopefully make them be more diverse in their casting and to stop whitewashing roles that are meant for a diverse group of people (i.e this whole mess on Tilda Swinton playing The Ancient One, who is of Tibetan descent). Hopefully after this Marvel can take a hint that people want more diverse casts and for people of the correct ethnicity to be cast in the roles that are meant for them and to stop whitewashing important lead characters.
Let Luke Cage also be a model to other studios as well and for them to take a lesson in this: people want casts that are diverse.