Marvel is looking for another hit with its latest venture on Netflix: Luke Cage, a black superhero whose skin possesses a superhuman resistance to bullets and puncture wounds thanks to a regeneration experiment that fortified his cellular tissue. But some liberal critics are put off by the show, claiming the main character leans conservative and engages in “respectability politics.”
An article in The Ringer, “Luke Cage, Black Conservative,” criticized Cage’s politics, his patriotism and his aversion to use or be called the n-word by other black people. The actor who plays Cage, Mike Colter, has said in interviews he doesn’t like the n-word and lobbied the show-runner to keep the word out of Cage’s vocabulary.
“Cage dates himself with stale concerns: if black people should say “nigga,” whether or not tailored clothing is the measure of a man’s self-respect, and so on,” The Ringer article read. “He’s a big, buff, invincible disappointment. Any other uptown native might’ve been quicker to discover that Harlem’s greater, untouchable menace is the NYPD. But what, Luke Cage wonders, about black-on-black crime?”
Vulture also stated that the show “veers a bit into respectability politics” and should maybe “explore” the topic of “toxic masculinity” a bit more. The outlet said Luke donning a hoodie evokes Trayvon Martin except “this time, the black man is bulletproof.”
But isn’t this just like progressives? A strong, black lead character is the newest superhero, and they can’t be happy, taking to Twitter to say, “Waaaay less interested in checking out LUKE CAGE now after hearing about its weirdly conservative viewpoint.”
This is why we can’t have nice things.