Disney owns Marvel and most of the films that have been created from the comic franchise. But since the nineties, 20th Century Fox has maintained the rights to the X-Men characters. They created the cartoons and even the X-Men and Fantastic Four movies.
But earlier this year, Disney acquired 21st Century Fox in a $71.3 billion dollar deal. As you know, Alexandra Shipp portrayed the role of Storm in the X-Men franchise. The casting was a controversial. Anyone who saw Storm in the comics or in the cartoon knows that she was a darker complected woman.
When people shared that fact with Shipp, she became defensive.
“(I tweeted back) at people who criticized me for not having dark enough skin for my role in X-Men because we’re not going to have this conversation about a cartoon character. You’re not going to tell me that my skin color doesn’t match a Crayola from 1970. Growing up, when I was reading the comics, I pictured her looking like me. For any black girl, for there to be a black superhero, we picture them looking like us.”
Shipp was the center of another round of controversy when the internet learned that Kiki Layne was vying for the role of Storm in another X-Men film. Layne spoke about being what the character of Storm meant to her.
“She was an image of myself, of a powerful chocolate black woman, and I just think that’s an amazing image to have and I really want to play Storm,” Layne said.
Shipp eventually responded.
“I won’t ever bad mouth a fellow actor. I won’t ever actively try to take another hard working actors job. Y’all can keep trying to pin black women against each other but it won’t work on me, honey,” she wrote. “Stay blessed.”
When her comments weren’t met with support, Shipp suggested that Black folk were hypocritical for supporting causes like Black Lives Matter while not making her feel worthy.
“Black twitter is so powerful. One second we’re trying to rally and define why our lives matter, the next we’re making each other feel like we’re not worthy of one. I’ll only spread and give love, no matter what tone my skin falls under. Bless up y’all Ima go back to work,” she wrote.
Later, when the news of the merger hit headlines and people started hoping that Shipp would be recast, she tweeted this ill-fated statement.
It didn’t age well. Because during Comic-Con, Marvel executive Kevin Feige announced that they would be recasting the roles of the X-Men mutants.
Given her refusal to acknowledge the issue of colorism in Hollywood, people rejoiced at the news that Storm might be played by a darker skinned Black woman.
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