Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Namor actor Tenoch Huerta recently claimed at San Diego Comic-Con that he would not have been cast as Namor “without inclusion.”
Huerta appeared during Marvel Studios Hall H panel where BuzzFeed reports he said, “I’m excited and I’m so happy to be here, it’s an honor. And I want to say something really fast about inclusion.”
“I come from the hood, seriously. And thanks to inclusion, I’m here. I wouldn’t be here without inclusion,” he stated.
Huerta then added, “A lot of us kids out there in their hoods are looking at us, dreaming to be here, and they’re gonna make it! They’re gonna make it.”
BuzzFeed then reported that Huerta switched to Spanish where he thanked Latin Americans for helping him land the role of Namor.
The outlet translated, “And the second thing. Sorry, I need to switch to Spanish. Thank you to everybody, all my country folk, all the Latin Americans. You crossed the river and you left everything you loved behind. Thanks to that, I am here. Thank you. By the way, Namor is amazing.”
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Huerta’s comments about inclusion reinforce what Marvel Studios executive Victoria Alonso detailed was the company’s policy back in June 2021.
While promoting Disney+’s What If…? at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Alsono proclaimed, “From a fiscal point of view, you are leaving money on the table by not representing.”
She explained, “I think 51% of our audience is female, 28% of our audience is Hispanic. If we don’t represent the people that watch what we make, eventually they’ll go elsewhere because somebody else will figure it out.”
Marvel Studios’ parent company, The Walt Disney Company, also had a stated policy via their Reimagine Tomorrow campaign to have “50% of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment scripted content will come from underrepresented groups.”
The goal behind this inclusion policy was to not only grow the company, but make it viable as well. The website stated, “We believe that forging meaningful connections with our consumers contributes to the growth and viability of the Company, so we purposefully champion a multitude of voices and perspectives.”
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While at San Diego Comic-Con Huerta also confirmed rumors that Namor is inspired by Latin American culture. Brazilian website Chippu reported back in May that Namor would no longer originate from Atlantis. Rather the site claimed he would come from a separate underwater region in Central America. They specifically noted he “will come from a historic and submerged city of Mexican culture.”
The site also noted that the change was being made so “the public does not confuse Namor so much with Aquaman, a character who has an almost identical origin in the comics.”
Huerta told Fuera de Foco, “It’s inspired by Mesoamerican cultures, and the people who were involved as advisors are regional Mexican scholars, Latin Americans — they call themselves Latinoamericanistas — and they made it possible. And the company, the production; totally open, eager, respectful, smart, sensitive. You know, that’s what representation is like, that’s how things should be done. With this [passion], with this commitment, and with this incredible humility.”
He added, “You know, you see people who are in Hollywood that you admire and you say, ‘Someday.’ And all of a sudden — with all the humility and humanity of the world — they reach out to you and say, ‘We’ll create this’ and you say, ‘Okay, I think this, I think that, I think…’ and they say, ‘Of course, let’s go.’ Wow, it was marvelous; it seldom happens, and I hope that the media in Mexico and Latin America understand, because in Mexican and Latin American media you only see white people, in spite of us being the majority…”
What do you make of Huerta’s comments about Namor?
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