Netflix(NEW YORK) — One of the ways that Mike Colter is saying thank you — in the spirit of Black History Month — is by honoring those who’ve “paved the way before [him].”
In Good Morning America‘s “On Their Shoulders” series, which honors Black History Month, the Luke Cage star honors several “African-Americans who fought for fairness, equality and representation,” such as legendary actors Hattie McDaniel, Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte,
Colter also honored showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker “the mastermind” behind his Netflix superhero series, the first Marvel TV show “centered on a black superhero.” Even so, Colter tries not to describe his character as such.
“I never think about him as a black superhero. I just think of him as a superhero. I don’t even think of him as a superhero, actually,” he told GMA. “I kind of just think about him as a guy who’s been given these abilities that really don’t make his life that much easier — and he happens to be black.”
Colter believes it’s not enough that there’s diverse representation on screens big and small. The actor said Hollywood must shift to a place where it’s offering a variety of roles for black men.
“We respond to the images that we’re seeing every day. And so to the degree that we’re always seeing negative images of black men onscreen — whether it be in a police line-up or being in some criminal activity or being imprisoned — there’s always some reminder that we’re somehow inferior,” he said.
Colter continued, “And so any time that there are people of value, that there are people who are educated, that there are people who will do the right thing, that there are people who are productive members of society, it just sort of helps to balance out the images that we’re always getting.”
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