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Why Defending Brie Larson is More Important Than you Think

When this article is published, it is likely that Captain Marvel has already come out and is a success. At least, that’s all we can hope. After months spent on the internet, looking at people’s reactions, it became obvious that I had to write about the ‘Captain Marvel’ phenomena and try to defend Brie Larson.

Problems started Day 1, when the Captain Marvel trailer was released by Marvel Entertainment: the war against Brie Larson had begun. Internet trolls began pestering the actress, criticising her appearance in the movie. They complained that her behind was too flat, that she showed no range, or that she never smiled. Aware of the trolls, Larson cleverly edited previous posters of Iron Man or Captain America to make the actors smile to prove that there was already a bias against her: she was meant to look pretty and smile on posters while her male counterparts were allowed to look serious and tormented.

The attacks continued, with each new poster or trailer bombarded with attacks against her acting skills (despite the fact that Brie Larson won an Oscar for Best Actress in 2016) and personality. Those attacks felt out of place, considering how little screen time the public had seen of her, and the fact that Captain Marvel was still voted as one of 2019’s most anticipated films.

The situation only worsened recently when, in an interview, Brie Larson called for more diversity amongst journalists; she realised she was always interviewed by the same ethnic category. While Larson only asked for minorities to be more represented in the journalistic industry, her words were taken out of context by clickbait sites which made her sound like she ‘hated white males’. Sigh. Not only is this fake news, but it is utterly sad to see someone calling for a more representative media to be deemed as anti-white.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Marvel movies have been attacked before, or during their releases. Only one suffered what Captain Marvel is now dealing with: Black Panther. If you don’t remember well, the MCU first black lead movie was targeted by fake news (that claimed that white audiences were attacked during screenings by the black community) and was called overrated just because it featured a diverse cast.
The trend I’m noticing here is that the Internet, and maybe the world in general, have an issue with minority groups leading movies. The fact that Black Panther and Captain Marvel were victims shows that a part of the population still can’t accept the world we live in. This is why I urge you to defend those movies: they attempt to represent the world and make boys and girls of every social background represented. I am not saying we should blindly love these movies, after all, it’s a matter of personal opinion and it’s okay to find flaws, but you cannot attack movies or their stars on the basis that they are trying something different. The treatment Captain Marvel has received is horrific and sadly not new. We can do better than this, we must go higher, further, faster, not backward.

Elie Breton des Loÿs

Elie is Bath Time's 2021/22 Editor-in-Chief (Online). He was previously the Lifestyle Editor for 2019/20 and is still our resident cinema-goer, best known for witty and informative film reviews.

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