MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Brie Larson said that Captain Marvel was "not made for" white men.
Captain Marvel came out this weekend and boy, it sure has not been received particularly well in certain circles, has it? There have been all sorts of campaigns against the film and one of the reasons that gets constantly brought up is that Brie Larson made some comments about the film that offended some people. My pal Joshua L., though, suggested to me that it might be a good idea to actually examine whether Brie Larson actually said the comments that so enraged people.
First off, no, Larson never even remotely said something like "I don't want white men to watch Captain Marvel." That's completely made up out of whole cloth. Not that the other things that people are referring to weren't also basically lies, but at least there is something that was misconstrued rather than just completely made up like Larson saying "I don't want white men to watch Captain Marvel." I mean, come on, folks, does that sound like something that anyone would ever actually say?
Now the more complicated one. Did Brie Larson say that Captain Marvel "wasn't made for" white men?
No, she did not. However, last year, she did make comments along those lines about the film, A Wrinkle in Time. When the film was released, it received mixed reviews, and people noted that the reviews seemed split among gender and race. In other words, in general its most vocal critics were white male critics and its most vocal proponents were, well, not white male critics.
Larson commented on that discrepancy at an event, noting, "I don’t need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work about A Wrinkle in Time. It wasn’t made for him! I want to know what it meant to women of color, biracial women, to teen women of color.”
Even at that very same event, Larson elaborated on her initial comment, stating, “Am I saying I hate white dudes? No, I am not. What I am saying is if you make a movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is an insanely low chance a woman of color will have a chance to see your movie, and review your movie.”
Larson took that viewpoint further during the press coverage of Captain Marvel, noting that she made a point to specifically add more access to diverse reporters during her press days. She explained, "About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male. So, I spoke to Dr Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive. After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of colour, it sounded like across the board they weren’t getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren’t providing it, they all had different excuses." As Larson later elaborated, that simply meant adding additional access to diverse reporters and did not mean restricting access to white male reporters.
That is the extent of the "offensive" comments made by Brie Larson during the press lead-up to Captain Marvel.
So, did she say that Captain Marvel "wasn't made for" white men? No, she did not.
The legend is...
Thanks to Joshua L. for the great suggestion!
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