When it comes to online flame wars, trolls and racists had better beware of the Human Torch himself, Michael B. Jordan.
The outrage over his casting from certain dark corners of the internet was, sadly, quite predictable. The color-blind casting of an African-American actor (however talented that actor may be) as founding member Johnny Storm, was certain to draw the ire of purists who wanted to see the lily-white visual aesthetic of the 1961 comic books maintained. Despite loud approval from Fantastic Four creator Stan Lee, comment sections and Facebook pages across the web are still filled with loud cries of “affirmative action!” and childhood-raping.
Yesterday, Jordan took the unusual approach of directly addressing these critics in an open letter published by Entertainment Weekly, entitled “Why I’m Torching the Color Line.”
In the letter, Jordan fired back at those who decried his casting as an act of political correctness, saying:
Some people may look at my casting as political correctness or an attempt to meet a racial quota, or as part of the year of “Black Film.” Or they could look at it as a creative choice by the director, Josh Trank, who is in an interracial relationship himself—a reflection of what a modern family looks like today.
Whether you agree with him or not, the boldness with which Jordan has approached this shows that he gets at least one thing about Johnny Storm: he’s unafraid to speak his mind.
Flame on, Mr. Jordan. Flame on.