Race In “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier”

Brandon Morales-Ortiz, Staff Writer

Kicking off a second round of TV programs, Marvel released “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” to terrific reviews, but more surprisingly, its depiction of racial issues in America has caught the eyes of many viewers.

The first episode of “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” has Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), teaming up with Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) as the two fight crime and reintegrate into society. Wilson struggles to see himself as Captain America’s successor, turning over the iconic shield to the Smithsonian for preservation while he attempts to lead a normal life. By the end of the show, the US government betrays Wilson and turns the shield over to John Walker (Wyatt Russell), who becomes the next Captain America. Despite stunning action scenes that have won over audiences, the show has gained attraction for tackling the issue of racism with a diverse set of writers, led by Executive Producer Malcolm Spellman.

Two scenes stand out immediately, first when Wilson applies for a bank loan. Although Wilson is a former veteran and holds a secure government job, he is still denied a loan that others are given. In his Variety interview, Spellman reveals it was a scene “that mostly dealt with … the fact that him being a celebrity does not transcend him being Black”, portraying Wilson as an ordinary man experiencing racism in his normal life. The second scene has Wilson turning in the Captain America shield for preservation, only to watch it be handed over to a government-picked agent. Spellman confirms that it is not by accident that a white man was chosen to replace Wilson, hinting that the American government and public would not have accepted a black man defending America. Whatever the case may be, the show will continue to have impactful scenes on racial issues, with Spellman hoping to “dig deeper and deeper as the series progresses.”

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