Anthony Mackie and Jeremy Renner: The Worst Avengers
Robert Downey Jr. has really embraced the role of Tony Stark both on and off the screen. We love him on screen in Marvel’s Avengers movies but he's also carries that over into real life. My latest favorite thing from him is when he presented a robotic Iron Man arm from Limbitless Solutions to Alex Pring, a young boy who was missing his right arm. It’s a heart warming video to watch that will have you all in your feelings. It really feels like being Tony Stark saved Robert Downey Jr. and made him a better person. I know that's an oversimplification but it's how it appears.
Downey isn’t the only Avenger to step into the role of real life hero. During the Super Bowl, Chris Pratt and Chris Evans had a hilarious bet over who would win the game. Evans and Pratt showed up in costume (Pratt as Star Lord and Evans as Captain America) at a Boston home for children with cancer to make good on their bet. Mark Ruffalo has been seen standing up for women’s rights, like when he decided to take all the sexist questions Scarlet Johansson usually gets.
There are plenty of examples like these. Celebrities standing up and doing the right thing and making you feel like they might be the heroes they portray on TV and in movies. We know its PR and it's not always the whole story but there’s something heartwarming about seeing the Avengers come together and do “real life hero” things.
But then you get jackasses like Anthony Mackie and Jeremy Renner to snatch your heads out of the clouds and bring you back down to reality.
Now I’m not saying Mackie and Renner haven’t done their fair share of charitable work. I’m certain they have. The problem with both of these men though is they’re typically in the news for some ignorant thing they said or pig headed behavior and whatever charitable good they’ve done becomes a buried lead.
Let’s take Anthony Mackie who has been working tirelessly to distance himself from the image of an enlightened black man that some of us may have had of him. Earlier this year were his comments on Selma:
“People are just tired of being bombarded with race right now,” Mackie said. “So everybody is shying away from certain topics and certain movies.”
“If you look at all the movies and actors that are nominated, they all gave damn good performances,” Mackie said. “Me specifically, if thats something I want, I have to step my game up. I have to do better movies and I have to act better.”[/quote]
It should be noted Mackie said this while doing promotion for his film Black or White…a film about race. Mackie is also doing a TV movie for HBO called All The Way where he’s playing…wait for it...Martin Luther King Jr. So that whole “People are tired of being bombarded with race” thing seems to only really count when Mackie’s not in the movie. Then again, Selma got a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes while Black or White got 39%. So I guess Mackie’s isn’t as immune as he thinks he is.
But wait, there’s more!
Mackie also had his respectability politics stint with downing wearing dreadlocks in the same interview.
[quote]Like my nephew wanted to grow dreadlocks. I’m like fine, I’ll sit you down and I’ll watch The First 48 with you and everybody you see on that show, that’s doing something wrong, they’re black dudes with dreadlocks. So, do you want to be seen as part of the problem or do you want to be an individual?”
“Let’s just say you have locks and you walking down the street. The police pull you over and say you fit the description of somebody. You start yelling and arguing with the cops. Next thing you know you pressed up against the wall going to jail for something you’re not even involved in just because you look like somebody and you don’t know how to handle yourself”[/quote]
It’s so incredibly disappointing to find out that Anthony Mackie has been heterosexual Don Lemon in disguise this whole time. It’s incredibly dangerous (And disappointing) that a Black man in Mackie’s position would give any credence to the idea that changing your hair style or the clothing would somehow stop you from going to jail. The underlying factor in getting “pressed up against the wall going to jail for something you’re not even involved in” is your skin color, not the type of hair style you have. There are too many examples of Black men (and women) that look like Anthony Mackie (and myself) for us to really believe not wearing dreadlocks would change anything.
Now Mackie’s latest stint of inserting his foot as far down his throat as humanly possible is for him to talk about how much he admires Donald Trump and is "drinking the Koolaid". Yes, a man who is running for President while insulting women, Latinos, black people, the President of the United States and anyone who dares challenge him. The man whose supporters are “lovely individuals” like these. Yes Anthony, working for Trump would be a dream for someone like you who is completely out of touch with reality and championing respectability politics. Now Mackie has since come out and said he was “joking” but after being hit with backlashes for his comments two times before, you’d think he would learn to be a bit more careful and deliberate with his words. Oh and this is only the tip of the iceberg, there are more things Mackie has said that are just plain stupid. Mackie is apparently campaigning for the Ben Carson “We Don’t Know You Anymore” NAACP Award.
Not to fear though, his brother in idiocy arms Jeremy Renner has come to his rescue to take some of the heat.
You’ll remember earlier this year Renner catching heat for calling Black Widow a “slut” in an interview with Chris Evans. Evans apologized, Renner on the other hand, just doubled down. Now Renner has found another way to be campaign for Captain of the MRA Fan Club. The Hollywood gender pay gap is a real issue that no one in their right mind can deny. Jennifer Lawrence recently wrote about her frustrations . Bradley Cooper has decided that he will do what he can to aid Lawrence and other women fighting this inequality. Cooper states that he will now share his salary information with his female costars so they can better negotiate their deals. It’s a noble thing and a good first step in forcing the hands of Studios to start to force this gap closed.
Enter Jeremy Renner
When asked if he would follow in Cooper’s footsteps Renner said this:
[quote]“That’s not my job,” he said after being asked whether he’d be willing to negotiate alongside actresses on future projects, adding that he doesn’t “know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff.”
“I’m a performer and I know human behavior,” he continued, noting that he does support actresses getting equal pay. “When it comes to that sort of stuff I let other people deal with that. I do what I’m good at, that’s what I focus on.”[/quote]
Yup, certified dick move. Sure, it is NOT Renner’s job to share that information, but he has to be aware of how much it would help and that is why his dismissive answer is so bad. Renner wasn't asked this question out of the blue. Remember, he also co-starrred in American Hustle along with Lawrence and Cooper. So when you have two stars talking about changing the gender wage gap, it makes sense to ask another one of their coworkers what their position is.
It’s odd that Renner would so readily separate himself from the negotiation process when it’s well known that the cast of Avengers were not happy about being short changed by Marvel for the sequel. Robert Downey Jr. helped Renner and the rest of the Avengers cast renegotiate with Marvel for better deals back in 2013. While Downey received a massive contract and payday, many of his costars weren’t nearly as lucky. Many of them were making more from other films that grossed less than Avengers. So Downey helped use his leverage so that the rest of the cast could get the money they deserve.
[quote]One saving grace is that Robert Downey Jr. is reportedly acting like “an older brother.” Taking the side of the rest of the cast and saying that he’s going to stand with them, which means Marvel is going to have to deal with a serious problem if Downey decides to throw down. Fans may be unaware, but Robert Downey Jr. has pull in tinseltown again. His checks of $50-80 million demand respect from the studios and he’s no longer just “the talent.” [/quote]
Downey really did not have to do this. He did not have to use his weight and star power to force Marvel’s hand. Yet he did. He could have easily said “not my job” like Renner is saying now. He didn’t. I’m not saying Renner should be forced to share his salary information with his costars. I don’t necessarily think it’s sexist if he doesn’t want to. Bradley Cooper taking this stand doesn’t mean everyone else has to, especially since the real issue is the Studios refusing to treat everyone equal. It really isn't Renner's job to do what the studios should be doing on their own. However, that's the point. Studios aren't doing the right thing and it's time to take a stand. It really comes down to the way in which Renner dismisses the problem and separates himself from the situation. See, the real issue with having Privilege is that you can dismiss problems of those with less representation because what they’re dealing with is something you can ignore. Renner should have responded that he would consider and look into the issues and left it at that. It would have showed some compassion and probably let him off the hook. Instead he defaulted to a line most people with privilege say that is hard to hear but is honest: It's not his job. While technically true, that's the funny thing about living in a society. There are many things that “aren’t our jobs” but we do them anyway to help out our friends, neighbors, coworkers and family because it’s the right thing to do. Renner seems to have forgotten that. He definitely forgot that he might have gotten less pay (and screen time and possibly replaced for Age of Ultron) if Robert Downey Jr. decided that it wasn't in his job description to look out and help his coworkers. Again, the funny thing about Privilege is being able to forget when others looked out for you while declaring it's not your job to pay it forward.
This doesn’t change how I feel about Captain America Civil War. Of course I’m going to see it and be excited. I’m sure I will enjoy both Renner and Mackie in those movies. But this is just yet another reminder that heroes on screen always look better than they do in real life. And that Hollywood isn’t the liberal utopia we’ve pictured it to be.
So I'm editing this article and getting ready to add some pictures and post it and then I see that Anthony Mackie has decided to come back and one-up Jeremy Renner again. This time he's explaining why it isn't important for Black Panther to have a black director:
[quote] “If we’re not financing and doing our own stories, we can’t expect to see ourselves come award season.” [/quote]
I'm at a loss for words. This is incredible. Anthony Mackie can't help himself:
[quote]“In some way, shape, or form—old rule—you should never leave a place worse than when you found it,” he continues. “You should always try to make it a little better. But it’s funny to look at how drastically different people are in certain situations, because I don’t think we should go around the world and impose democracy on everybody. Some people just aren’t made for democracy. Some people just need a dictator. That’s just who they are.”[/quote]
I don't know what else to say about this dude at this point. My God.