The actor and producer, who is currently starring on Broadway in The Piano Lesson, appeared with the play’s director and his wife LaTanya Jackson on The View Tuesday to promote the historic August Wilson production. During their discussion, the actor was asked about Tarantino’s recent statements on the 2 Bears 1 Cave podcast, in which he argued, as others have, that the MCU doesn’t make movie stars.
“Part of the Marvel-ization of Hollywood is you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters,” he said. “But they’re not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Thor is the star. I’m not the first person to say that. I think that’s been said a zillion times, but it’s these franchise characters [who] become a star.”
Jackson, who was a star long before he entered the MCU as Nick Fury, argued that there are movie stars made out of the franchise. The actor pointed specifically to the late Chadwick Boseman, whose film Black Panther was nominated for best picture by the Oscars, and Scarlett Johansson as examples of how movie stars come in and out of the MCU.
“That’s not a big controversy for me to know that these actors are movie stars. Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther. You can’t refute that, and he’s a movie star,” he told The View hosts. “It takes an actor to be those particular characters.”
Jackson also took the stance on what he ultimately thinks is the measure of what makes an actor a “star” in Hollywood. “The sign of movie stardom has always been — what — asses in seats?” he said. “What are we talking about?”
During Tarantino’s discussion with 2 Bears 1 Cave podcast host Tom Segura, the director spoke about the proliferation of Marvel movies, stating that his “only axe to grind” with the films was that they are, in his opinion, “the only things that seem to be made.”
“They are the entire representation of this era of movies right now. There’s not really much room for anything else. That’s my problem. It’s a problem of representation.”
Jackson is not the first MCU actor to publicly respond to Tarantino’s comments. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu addressed how the “Golden Age” Tarantino may be speaking to was largely devoid of racial diversity.
“If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie,” he tweeted. “I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don’t get to point their nose at me or anyone.”