Fantastic Four actress and co-founder of The Honest Company, Jessica Alba, called out Hollywood for its lack of diversity during an interview with Glamour UK., adding there was still room for improvement in the industry.
Although the actress–whose paternal grandparents were the children of Mexican immigrants–has found success in prominent roles in past films like Sin City (2005), Fantastic Four (2005), and its sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), she struggled to land leading roles earlier in her career and was often labeled, "exotic."
When asked if Alba has seen changes in Hollywood in recent years, the woman of Latina heritage responded:
"Yeah. It's a business initiative for people now that they realize how much money they can make."
"It's something they care about, which is fine. How they get there really doesn't matter."
"You're like, 'Great. Now you realize there's a whole group of folks that you just frankly left out of the conversation because you just didn't even see them. They were there the whole time.'"
"And I guess it's the people in charge. However they get there, it really genuinely doesn't matter."
"I just think more for the younger people who are coming up, who are going to be our future leaders, it's important for them to see the world on screen, or in stories, in the dreams that we create as entertainers; it reflects the world that they're in."
To highlight her example, she pointed to Marvel films–which are dominating box-office juggernauts.
"Even if you look at the Marvel movies—that's the biggest driver of fantasy and what's happening right now in entertainment, because it's sort of the family thing — it's still quite Caucasian."
Her statement was challenged by Marvel stans.
One user posted a GIF from Disney+'s Ms. Marvel.
The TV series features a teenage character who is a Pakistani-American Muslim from New Jersey.
Some people were on the fence.
Actress Jameela Jamil–who was born to an Indian father and a Pakistani-British mother–commented on Variety's tweet featuring the interview with Alba and disagreed.
"I think one can say there is always room for improvement everywhere, but I would say Marvel are *way* ahead of everyone else in diversity," tweeted Jamil, who will appear in the upcoming Marvel series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
She mentioned recent Marvel films featuring non-White actors in leading roles to back her point.
"It has changed beyond recognition in the past 10 years. Just saying."
"Black Panther, Ms Marvel, Shang Chi, and She Hulk come to mind."
Alba later admitted her generalization about Marvel was not accurate.
She responded to Jamil's tweet, saying:
"I stand corrected -a lot has changed. @Marvel seems to be leading the way."
"There is a ton that has been developed and is being released along w all that is out now. Look forward to ur work @jameelajamil love seeing ur gorgeous self onscreen."
Jamil responded back with, "Love you. Always."