Marvel Accused Of Racism As Critics Claim Allegedly Cast Actor Gui Agustini Is Too Light-Skinned To Voice Sunspot In ‘X-Men’ ’97’
Marvel's casting of Gui Augstini as Sunspot in their upcoming 'X-Men '97' has drawn the outrage of the terminally online.
In the latest example of ‘the identity-politics obsessed will never be satisfied’, despite their reported casting of Gui Agustini as the ethnically similar Roberto ‘Sunspot’ De Costa in the upcoming X-Men ’97 animated series showing an obvious commitment to ‘inclusive’ casting, Marvel Studios has been accused of racism and white-washing by a large swath of fans who believe that the Brazillian voice actor is too light-skinned to properly portray the South American mutant.
While the Disney subsidiary has been relatively light on official details regarding the fan-favorite X-team’s return to the small screen, fans got their first glimpse at the series’ alleged casting courtesy of a recent filing made by Marvel with the U.S. Copyright Office on behalf of the series’ very first episode.
As initially brought to public attention by Twitter user @ScarletWitchUpd, the filing in question reveals that the Merry Band of Mutants’ voice cast will include:
- Ray Chase (Noctis Lucis Caelum in the Final Fantasy XV franchise) as Cyclops, replacing the late Norm Spencer.
- Jennifer Hale (Female Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect trilogy) as Jean Grey, replacing Catherine Disher.
- Lenore Zann (Roll. EXE in Megaman: NT Warrior) as Rogue, reprising her role from the original series.
- George Buza (Grandpa Granger in Beyblade) as Beast, reprising his role from the original series.
- Holly Chou (April Braxton in Players) as Jubilee, replacing Alyson Court.
- Christopher Britton (Soichiro Yagami in Death Note) as Mr. Sinister, reprising his role from the original series.
- Alison Sealy-Smith (Ranavalona in Diabolik) as Storm, reprising her role from the original series.
- Cal Dodd (Ron Rapidfire in PAW Patrol: Ready Race Rescue) as Wolverine, reprising his role from the original series.
- AJ LoCasico (Prince Lotor in Voltron: Legendary Defender) as Gambit, replacing Tony Daniels.
- Matthew Waterson as Magneto (Doom Slayer in Doom: Eternal) as Magneto, replacing the late David Hemblen.
- And finally, Augistini (Carmelo in 11-11 En mi cuadra nada cuadra) as newcomer Sunspot.
(It should be noted that, as per showrunner Beau DeMayo, the synopsis listed on the U.S. Copyright Office’s website is “not an official synopsis for the show.”)
First introduced in Marvel Graphic Novel Vol. 1 #4, Da Costa began life as a mutant hero when his power to channel solar energy manifested in response to his being assaulted by a group of Brazillian children who assaulted him for his darker skin color.
After finding himself in the sights of the Hellfire Club’s Donald Pierce and his thirst for mutant blood, Da Costa was eventually saved from being outright murdered thanks to the swift intervention of Professor Xavier. Offered a place at the esteemed mutant’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Da Costa soon – and famously – became a member of a defacto group of fresh recruits known as the New Mutants.
As with most teenagers, Da Costa would, at least to an extent, eventually grow out of his original hot-headed personality and over time find himself fulfilling evermore important roles across the larger Marvel universe, including serving as both the leader of the American-government-sanctioned U.S.Avengers and the Supreme Leader of A.I.M.
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While most of the aforementioned supposed cast reveals came and went with little controversy, Augistini’s role as Sunspot caught the attention of the internet outrage machine, who responded to the announcement by not only disregarding Marvel’s efforts to pre-emptively appease them by casting a Brazillian in the role of Marvel’s most famous brazuca, but also – and unsurprisingly – taking offense to the fact that the voice actor was not as dark-skinned as his animated counterpart.
“Ight just cancel the show lol” wrote @Tchalla_Fett. “next thing they’ll announce a white guy is voicing Bishop”.
“This is literally Afro Latino erasure,” bleated @blerd807.
“Btw this is like a white actor voicing T’challa,” declared @angrykrakoan.
“I don’t mind a certain level of blind voice-casting if the diversity behind the scenes is overall diverse, but a character roike Sunspot who’s origins involve racial discrimination and is constantly whitewashed?” sheepishly put forth @EvanReadsComics. “I think we should’ve gone afrolatino this time.”
“Why is he white, though?” questioned @KaluluVt. “Sunspot is Afro-Brazilian, and part of his backstory is that he was literally hate crimed for being black. I refuse to believe you couldn’t find one Afro-Brazilian to voice him Disney”.
“WHY DO WE HAVE TO KEEP DOING THIS?!” exclaimed @DestheDreamer_. “Sunspot is a Black man. Yes he is mixed but he is visibly Black. I thought we were over casting white voice actors in Black and Brown roles????”
“Roberto da Costa is an Afro-Brazilian,” asserted @blackhomeva. “Heavy on the Afro. Just say y’all don’t know the comics and go.”
“This is why the Little Mermaid / Cleopatra discourse was so tiring because Hollywood has been WHITE WASHING characters of Black descent forever lol,” said @KopsmicKor. “but ‘race swapping’ is now a problem when it’s a white character being changed? Okay.. using an AFRO Brazilian voice is important.”
“This is an intentional choice to erase the Blackness of this canon character,” accused @EscaflowneCrown. “This is the problem I have with race bending. once again. Marvel Studios continues to show a sketchy pattern regarding Black male representation.”
As of writing, neither Marvel, Augstini, nor anyone else involved with the production of X-Men ’97 has offered a public comment on this backlash.
However, given the company’s recent habit of prostrating themselves before the mob at even the slightest hint of controversy, it cannot be ignored that there exists a significant posibility that Marvel may end up recasting Augustini in order to please those who do not realize the core point of voice acting.
Per the above U.S. Copyright filing, Sunspot is on track to flare onto Disney Plus alongside his fellow mutants n in X-Men ’97 on January 3rd, 2024.