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Michael B. Jordan on Willfully Auditioning for Roles Written for White Men

Michael B. Jordan revealed to Issa Rae in Variety’s Actors on Actors interview series that after Fruitvale Station, he told his agents he only wanted to audition for roles written for White men.

Jordan explained the reason for the change being about the freedom of  “just playing people” and not having to enter into a role that has perceived biases attached to race. “I said ‘I don’t want it. I want to only go for, like, [roles written for] white males. That’s it,'” he said. “Me playing that role is going to make it what it is. I don’t want any pre-bias…on the character. Writers write what they know…their encounter with us would be and that’s a slight bias into the character.”

Rae credits Black Panther with opening her mind up to the notion of auditioning for roles that are not typically seeking out a Black woman. Jordan has received backlash for being cast as the Human Torch in 2015 Fantastic Four and he recently starred as Guy Montag in HBO’s adaptation of Fahrenheit 451both roles intended for white actors.

Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.