Fans HATE The Idea Of Zendaya As Riri Williams/Ironheart In Marvel Cinematic Universe
"You lot want Zendaya to play every black woman role... Riri Williams is a darkskin woman." An annoyed fan tweets.
12 September 2019 by Fachana Techamaneewat
LOS ANGELES - JUN 14: Zendaya at the Children Mending Heart's 7th Annual Empathy Rocks
Fundraiser, Private Location, on June 14, 2015 in Malibu, CA — Photo by bossmoss
After Tony Stark/Iron Man's departure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr is urging for the MCU to add in Riri Williams/Ironheart. And fans are clamouring for Zendaya to fill the role. However, other fans hate the idea of it completely.
...Mainly due to Zendaya's skin colour being "too light".
It all started with a viral Twitter post, where Robert (Tony Stark), suggested that Ironheart should be introduced into the MCU.
For those who don't know, Ironheart AKA Riri Williams is a 15-year-old engineering student who builds an armour suit that's strikingly similar to Iron Man's suit. In the comics, Tony Stark falls into a state of comatose, and Riri takes over his legacy and continues to fight crime.
Er, with the help of an A.I. that is programmed after Tony's consciousness, obviously.
So, of course, fans were excited and started to share their opinions on who they think should take on the role. Riele Downs (Charlotte in Disney's Henry Danger) and Yara Sayeh Shahidi (Zoey Johnson in ABC's Black-ish) were some of the names that was brought up.
However, the most popular vote appears to be Zendaya (MJ in Spider-Man: Far From Home).
But then it quickly became clear that others weren't too happy with the suggestion at all.
It appears that fans aren't happy with Zendaya taking the role because of Zendaya's skin colour. That is, it's not exactly dark enough.
Fans are even going as far as accusing Zendaya of 'stealing' roles that should've gone to darker skinned women, as well as securing roles of 'white' people, (i.e., Mary Jane in Spider-Man: Homecoming).
Zendaya herself, however, seems to be aware of Hollywood's bias towards her. In a clip that went viral on Twitter last year, Zendaya is heard saying "I am Hollywood's acceptable version of a Black girl, and that has to change."
In a 2016 interview with Cosmopolitan, Zendaya also brings up this issue:
"I feel a responsibility to be a voice for the beautiful shades my people come in. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a privilege compared to my darker sisters and brothers. [...] Can I honestly say that I’ve had to face the same racism and struggles as a woman with darker skin? No, I cannot. I have not walked in her shoes, and that is unfair of me to say. [...] But I’m completely behind that woman. I want to be a part of the movement and growth."
So with all this said, we don't think Zendaya will take the role, even if she was offered it. Because this is exactly the issue that she's fighting against. She's fighting for the change in Hollywood's bias against dark-skinned women
So does Zendaya deserve all this hate?
No, we definitely don't think she does.
Fachana Techamaneewat is a news writer at Exclusive Hollywood and is responsible for researching and writing news articles while providing story updates wherever necessary.
Fun fact: On the weekends, she's an avid writer for practically anything. Her current obsession is the Umbrella Academy, and as of now, she is currently experimenting with TikTok.