By any definition, Captain America is a literal social justice warrior. He punches Nazis in the face, confronts the government about its legal oppression and goes out of his way to give everyone the same opportunities to succeed. However, Steve Rogers is just a character. He is portrayed by actor Chris Evans, who, by all accounts, may be Roger's real-life counterpart.
Evans is very outspoken on social media about political and social issues he is passionate about. The actor recently announced plans to create a non-partisan news website, Starting Point, offering users every side of every political debate.
However, Evans is already using his platform as a celebrity to fight battles he sees as crucial to society. By all accounts, Evans is the ultimate social justice warrior, and that should not be misconstrued as an insult. It's outright praise.
Speaking His Mind
If anyone remains uncertain where Evans stands politically, look on his Twitter feed.
Just recently, the announcement of a Straight Pride Parade in Boston left people shocked. Many LGBTQ+ critics cringed at the announcement, while others argued the event stood as a direct attack on LGBTQ+ people during Pride Month.
Evans had this to say.
Wow! Cool initiative, fellas!! Just a thought, instead of ‘Straight Pride’ parade, how about this: The ‘desperately trying to bury our own gay thoughts by being homophobic because no one taught us how to access our emotions as children’ parade? Whatta ya think? Too on the nose?? https://t.co/gaBWtq2PaL— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) June 5, 2019
"Wow! Cool initiative, fellas!! Just a thought, instead of 'Straight Pride' parade, how about this: The 'desperately trying to bury our own gay thoughts by being homophobic because no one taught us how to access our emotions as children' parade? Whatta ya think? Too on the nose??"
This took a firm stance on the organizers of the parade, not only calling them out for their homophobia, thinly veiled as "Straight Pride," but also potentially cutting to the heart of the matter.
But Evans's phrasing did ruffle a few feathers on his side. The implication that homophobia is the result of gay repression sparked controversy among many LGBTQ+ individuals. Many claimed this statement promoted a discredited theory about the origin of homophobia that often led people away from digging into the real causes for it (such as socially-condoned bigotry).
But then Evans tweeted this less than an hour later, further clarifying his stance on a Straight Pride parade.
Wow, the number gay/straight pride parade false equivalencies are disappointing. For those who don’t understand the difference, see below. Instead of going immediately to anger(which is actually just fear of what you don’t understand)take a moment to search for empathy and growth https://t.co/e98K0Z150T— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) June 5, 2019
"Wow, the number gay/straight pride parade false equivalencies are disappointing. For those who don’t understand the difference, see below. Instead of going immediately to anger (which is actually just fear of what you don’t understand) take a moment to search for empathy and growth."
The quoted text goes into more detail about how there is no equivalence between the straight and LGBTQ+ experience, making a Straight Pride Parade sound laughable.
Evans used his platform to deconstruct and invalidate common talking points used to attack LGBTQ+ people while simultaneously using this same evidence to attack an event created to attack and mock LGBTQ+ people. And he did it without using a shield made of Vibranium.
The Anti-Trump Train
This is hardly the first time Evans has used social media to promote his viewpoint.
In February, Evans took a very firm stance on climate change. President Donald Trump had previously tweeted: "Well, it happened again. Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!"
Evans, quote-tweeting Trump, said this: "Either you STILL don’t understand that weather is not climate despite literally everyone explaining it to you every time you tweet this ignorance, or you just don’t care, and you’re deliberately misleading your base. Which is it?"
Either you STILL don’t understand that weather is not climate despite literally everyone explaining it to you every time you tweet this ignorance, or you just don’t care, and you’re deliberately misleading your base.— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) February 11, 2019
Which is it? https://t.co/35Rmeot0F9
This is one of many Trump critical tweets Evans had made. Trump has been a divisive figure in general, with many criticizing him for making things worse for American minority groups, the American economy and the environment. Evans is one such critic.
But Evans is different in that he is the figurehead of a multi-billion dollar franchise. Any controversy surrounding him would reflect poorly on the Marvel Studios brand, wouldn't it?
Marvel Social Justice Warriors
When asked by The Hollywood Reporter if Marvel Studios ever had issues with his outspoken political beliefs, Evans said, "When I bump into Kevin Feige the first thing out of his mouth is 'Man, I love what you're doing [on Twitter].'"
Feige himself added, "It's very noble, very Cap-like. Commentary and questioning. I've said to him, 'You're merging! You and the character are merging!'"
As far as Marvel Studios is concerned, Evans questioning and pushing for those in need of help is a virtue.
It is important to note that Evans is not the only actor working for Marvel who is outspoken about their beliefs. Brie Larson, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. have all used their platform to present their political beliefs and ideologies to varying degrees of success
But the difference between them and Evans is that Evans, as seen on social media, is essentially becoming a real-life counterpart to the very character he plays. As Feige stated, Evans and Rogers are merging, and from that merger springs a real-life social justice warrior -- a real-life Captain America.