John Boyega of 'Star Wars' was asked to defend a totally different movie. He crushed it.

After playing a supporting role in "Captain America: Civil War," Black Panther is finally getting his own standalone film — and it looks absolutely awesome.

The majority black cast is unlike anything seen in the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe and is a completely welcome change of pace.

Some people, however, pointed to the film's casting as proof of hypocrisy from people who advocate for diversity in Hollywood. One Twitter user reached out out to John Boyega. It ... didn't go well.

"Hey @JohnBoyega, why aren't [you] complaining about the lack of diversity of Black Panther's cast? 9/10 actors are Africans/Afro-Americans," they wrote.


Boyega, who is not in this film, but has been outspoken about diversity in Hollywood, replied, "Because it's about time Biiiihhhhh."

It's a fundamental (and possibly willful) misunderstanding of efforts to increase diversity on- and off-screen to suggest that the goal is for every movie to have a perfectly racially balanced cast.

The reality is that there aren't a lot of big budget movies out there that feature majority black casts.

The University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism's annual diversity report highlights just how disproportionately white and male Hollywood's top films still are.

A look at the top 100 films of 2016 found that 70.8% of all speaking roles were played by white actors, 13.6% black, 5.7% Asian, and 3.1% Hispanic. A quarter of the top 100 films didn't have a single black character in a speaking role, 44 with no Asian roles, and 54 without any Hispanic characters.

Data from the USC Annenberg diversity survey and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Fear not, white fans of the Marvel cinematic universe!

You've still got the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist representing you. You'll be OK. I promise.

To date, Luke Cage has been the only black character to get his own standalone streaming show, and Black Panther will be the first to get his own film. Because, like Boyega said, "It's about time."

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler stands alongside actors Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, and Michael B. Jordan at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney.

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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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When Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin and his wife, Sarah Bloom, announced the death of their 25-year-old son Tommy on New Year's Eve, the whole nation mourned with them. Many also quietly wondered what had caused his death. It's not anyone's business, of course. But when a young, seemingly healthy person dies unexpectedly at home, the question lingers.

Rep. Raskin provided an honest answer to that question in a way that is both heartbreaking and perfect. In a statement published on Medium, Raskin and Bloom shared the details of Tommy's life so beautifully, it makes anyone who reads it feel like we knew him. It also exemplifies how to talk about a loved one who is taken by mental illness.

The statement opens:

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via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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