Michael B. Jordan, the “Black Human Torch,” to Trolls: “Get Your Head Out of the Computer. Go Outside.”
Michael B. Jordan, the African American actor who’ll play Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, in this summer’s Fantastic Four reboot, has shared his feelings with Entertainment Weekly regarding the controversy over his casting. He first acknowledges that he checked out some of the debates online, conventional wisdom dictates is not a good idea:
I didn’t want to be ignorant about what people were saying. Turns out this is what they were saying: “A black guy? I don’t like it. They must be doing it because Obama’s president” and “It’s not true to the comic.” Or even, “They’ve destroyed it!”
Recalibrating comics that were created in a time when almost all of America’s heroes—fictional or real—were white is something that many people feel needs to happen. Someone has to do it, Jordan says:
Sometimes you have to be the person who stands up and says, “I’ll be the one to shoulder all this hate. I’ll take the brunt for the next couple of generations.” I put that responsibility on myself.
In the end, he addresses the haters directly:
To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends’ friends and who they’re interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It’s okay to like it.
For his full statement, see EW’s “Michael B. Jordan: Why I’m Torching the Color Line.” Here’s the latest trailer for Fantastic Four, in theaters August 7: