Nolte: The Unbearable Ingratitude of Marvel’s Brie Larson

Jake Giles Netter/Lionsgate

The unbelievably dishonest and ungrateful star of Captain Marvel, Brie Larson, is running around pretending to be the Rosa Parks of action heroines.

You know, when Whoopi Goldberg first started winning acting awards in the eighties for The Color Purple, she recognized she was standing on someone else’s shoulders, on the shoulders of Hattie McDaniel, the first black person to win an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actress, 1940). Finally, in 1991, a half-century later, Whoopi would become only the second black woman to win an Oscar.

When Denzel Washington finally won the Best Actor Oscar in 2002, he opened his acceptance speech by saluting the man he had been “chasing” for 40 years, the great Sidney Poitier — the first black man to ever win Best Actor (1964). Thirty-eight years later, Denzel was second.

Whoopi and Denzel did not pretend to be first, to be groundbreakers, to be the pioneers of their respective social causes — even though, they were. After all, until 1990, when Denzel won Best Supporting Actor for Glory, only three black actors had taken home the Oscar: McDaniel, Poitier, and Louis Gossett Jr. (1983’s Best Supporting Actor).

Nevertheless, they still saluted those who came first, showed them the proper respect, expressed gratitude, and acknowledged their struggle and accomplishment.

Compare that to Brie Larson’s comments earlier this month at something called the Women In The World conference — which sounds like a barrel of laughs…

“I’m very grateful to have broken this glass ceiling of normalizing the concept that women can also make a billion dollars. I don’t know why that was so hard to comprehend in the first place,” she said. “It’s just like we’re human, whatever. If people needed this to be another reminder this decade [that minority groups can open movies and make a billion dollars] then great. I’m here. I did it.”

“I did it.”

“I did it.”


No, princess, you didn’t.

In fact, you didn’t come close to doing it.

Believe it or not, before you plenty of women were “normalizing” the idea of a woman making a billion box office dollars, of a woman being the foundation of an action franchise, of a woman as an action hero.

You’re not only not the first, cupcake, you not only didn’t break the glass ceiling, you are old hat…

Let’s start with the fact that Felicity Jones is the first woman to anchor a standalone billion dollar action movie with 2016’s Rogue One.

Oh, and before Brie there was Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, a franchise that grossed nearly $3 billion.

Before Brie there was a little movie called Wonder Woman, that grossed $821 million.

Long before Brie, a whole 17 years before Brie, Milla Jovovich anchored the Resident Evil franchise, a franchise that grossed over a billion dollars.

A full 16 years before Brie, Kate Beckinsdale launched the Underworld franchise.

Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider?

Michelle Yeoh?

And where does this joyless harpy get off not recognizing Sigourney Weaver and the Alien franchise?

Which brings me to The Mighty Pam Grier, the godmother of all action heroines, an icon, a legend, the Neil Armstrong of the genre.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Marvel’s disrespected the past. Remember when Black Panther tried to pull this same exact crap…

Black Panther is the first black superhero movie!

Yeah, sorry, no… Meteor Man (1993), Blankman (1994), Spawn (1997), Steel (1997), Blade (1998), Catwoman (2004), Hancock (2008) — need I go on…?

Black Panther is the first black superhero movie written and directed by a black man!

Yeah, sorry, no… The Mighty Robert Townsend wrote and directed Meteor Man 26 freakin’ years ago. In fact, it was Townsend’s 1987 masterpiece Hollywood Shuffle that started all of this.

Okay, but this is first time a person of color has directed a big budget superhero movie starring a black man!

Well, now you’re just getting stupid, but still — yeah, sorry, no… Guillermo Del Toro directed Blade II a full 16 years ago.

Uhm…? I know! Black Panther is the first Marvel movie starring a black superhero!

Blade, dummy, and there were three of them.

Black Panther is the first Marvel movie starring a black superhero directed by a black guy named Ryan!

You got me there.

I get that everyone wants to be Neil Armstrong, I do… And I also get the politics behind all of this — this lie that convinces the woefully uninformed that America is so racist and sexist these firsts are only happening now.

But I gotta say, this is a lousy thing to do to the true pioneers, to those who actually took the risks to blaze a new path — in the vernacular of the woke, it’s a lousy thing to do to these women and people of color.

Brie Larson and Black Panther were not the first, or the second, or the third, fourth, fifth, or even sixth…

Robert Townsend was a true trailblazer and he deserves some goddamned respect, and so do Pam Grier and Sigourney Weaver.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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