Before she was the CEO of the Honest Company, Jessica Alba's many acting credits included Sin City and Little Fockers, as well as 2005's Fantastic Four and its sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, two years later. So she worked, but she's noted in the years since that, as a Latina, it was difficult even for her to win lead roles.
In an interview published Thursday, she said that there's still a lot of improvements in diversity to be made in the entertainment industry.
"Yeah. It's a business initiative for people now that they realize how much money they can make," Alba told Glamour UK. "It's something they care about, which is fine. How they get there really doesn't matter. You're like, 'Great. Now you realize there's a whole group of folks that you just frankly left out of the conversation because you just didn't even see them. They were there the whole time.'
"And I guess it's the people in charge. However they get there, it really genuinely doesn't matter. I just think more for the younger people who are coming up, who are going to be our future leaders, it's important for them to see the world on screen, or in stories, in the dreams that we create as entertainers; it reflects the world that they're in.
"Even if you look at the Marvel movies — that's the biggest driver of fantasy and what's happening right now in entertainment, because it's sort of the family thing — it's still quite Caucasian," Alba continued.
She recalled being "one of the few back in the day" when she played Sue Storm.
"And it was before Marvel was sold to Disney," she said about the 2009 sale, "but it's still quite… more of the same."
Actress Jameela Jamil, who co-stars in the upcoming Marvel series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, commented on Variety's tweet of its story about Alba's comments on diversity: "I think one can say there is always room for improvement everywhere, but I would say Marvel are *way* ahead of everyone else in diversity and it has changed beyond recognition in the past 10 years. Just saying. Black Panther, Ms Marvel, Shang Chi, and She Hulk come to mind."
I think one can say there is always room for improvement everywhere, but I would say Marvel are *way* ahead of everyone else in diversity and it has changed beyond recognition in the past 10 years. Just saying. Black Panther, Ms Marvel, Shang Chi, and She Hulk come to mind. https://t.co/MRSPmE8MK7
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) July 21, 2022
In the few years, Marvel has released the blockbusters Black Panther (2018) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) and, last month, the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, all of which featured non-white actors in the lead role. Black actor Anthony Mackie will take over the role of Captain America from Chris Evans, a white actor, in the upcoming fourth installment of the franchise based around that character.
Editor's note: Jessica Alba is a member of Yahoo’s board of directors.