Marvel Fanbase, Know the Difference Between Actor and Character


On the new Disney+ series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” Marvel released who would be playing the role of John Walker/ Captain America and it went to American actor Wyatt Russell. Fans might have seen Russell in a couple of movies such as “Overlord” and “22 Jump Street.”

Wyatt Russell had auditioned for the role of Captain America a decade before the television series to be the original Captain America. He turned it down twice but Deadline News announced in January of 2021 that actor Wyatt Russell would be staring in the new series. When people had found out and watched him on screen for the first time, he received a lot of negative feedback. I thought it was interesting that he was playing the role of the new Captain America because it was new and gave the television series more attention. I think the reason why people were not enthusiastic about the new Captain America announcement is because our society hates change and loves consistency; also, everyone loved Chris Evans as Captain America.

The thing is, Russell knew before the show aired that he would get some hate from the role because it was going to be a pretty big change in the Marvel Universe. It also didn’t help when the character he plays is a little cocky and thinks he will be better than the last Captain America. People took offense to this and took to social media.

Instead of hating on the character and not liking John Walker, they took it out on Russell, who is just the actor playing the role. They went as far as going on his Instagram to comment and direct message him death threats. Wyatt quickly deactivated his Instagram account for a bit until things calmed down. 

My question is, why hate on the actor? I know he is not our Chris Evans, the first Captain America, but these fans need to lighten up. He is not like John Walker in real life. He has a wife and kids and is a real person with real feelings just like us. He didn’t need as much hate as he got, and he did not deserve death threats either.

This isn’t the only incident with people taking their hate towards the characters on the screen to the real actors playing them. The actor Stephen Amell, who plays Arrow in the television show “Arrow,” had reportedly been approached by a fan who abruptly head-butted him and stated that he wanted to defeat his character, Arrow, in a fight. Individuals have gone as far as physical abuse towards the actors. It makes me mad because why hate these actors? It is not like they act like them in real life. I think people need to stop overreacting to things and deal with them. You can hate the character as much as you want because they are not a real person, they are fictional. I don’t like Adrien Agreste in the TV show “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir,” but I don’t take it out Bryce Papenbrook, the real person that voices him.

Russell responded to this hate that he got to the USA Today News channel: “People are probably going to hate it, and some people are going to love it. [Movies and TV shows] are there to make people feel emotions, and I’m hoping that that’s what this show can do for people. Hopefully, they don’t hate me too much, [but] it would be an honor, I guess, to be disliked in the Marvel universe.” He is not too mad about the minor hate he got. The actor’s job is to draw emotion to the audience, but it is our job as the audience to react respectfully and mature towards the actors on screen.

All I have to say about this issue is that some fans need to lighten up about these kinds of situations in the future. Don’t send hate towards the actors; you can not blame them for the roles they got cast in. Also, please be respectful towards them online too. Death threats are so not okay and people can go to jail for those types of comments. Ultimately, don’t hate the actors, hate the characters.