Hot on the heels of Marvel announcing that All My Children alum Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie Montgomery) would be playing the part of Johnny Storm/The Human Torch in the film version of Fantastic Four came a truckload of negative fan responses over the fact that Jordan is black when Johnny was originally written as white. Comments like, "A black guy? I don't like it. They must be doing it because Obama's president," "It's not true to the comic," and "They've destroyed it," have spread like wildfire -- so much so that Jordan himself has decided to address the hurtful comments head-on in an open letter.
"To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer," he states in his letter, which was published on Entertainment Weekly. "Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends' friends and who they're interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It's okay to like it."
The 28-year-old actor also added that the film, slated for theaters on Friday, August 7, is a family movie about four friends, and a lot has changed since the original comic was written. "I can see everybody's perspective, and I know I can't ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books," he writes. "But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961... Sometimes you have to be the person who stands up and says, 'I'll be the one to shoulder all this hate. I'll take the brunt for the next couple of generations.' I put that responsibility on myself. People are always going to see each other in terms of race, but maybe in the future we won't talk about it as much. Maybe, if I set an example, Hollywood will start considering more people of color in other prominent roles, and maybe we can reach the people who are stuck in the mindset that 'it has to be true to the comic book.' Or maybe we have to reach past them."
Check out the trailer to Fantastic Four below and then let us know your thoughts on Jordan's letter.