After news broke in February that “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are writing and producing a new “Star Wars” film series, Variety reported that 96% of the key creators in the franchise are white men — highlighting a lack of diversity in the franchise. Following news of Favreau’s involvement, some pointed out the continuation of the trend, while others defended the choice, given Favreau’s previous success as writer and producer of “The Jungle Book” and “Iron Man.”
In response to a tweet from the official “Star Wars” account confirming that Favreau had signed on to the project, one Twitter user wrote, “Maybe hire some people who aren’t straight white guys? Maybe just once?”
Others mentioned the poor timing of the announcement on International Women’s Day — only one woman has a screenplay credit on a “Star Wars” film. “Ah yes, the best way to celebrate #WomensDay is announcing yet another white guy to head a Star Wars story,” one response said. Another person commented, “It’s amazing that there just aren’t any qualified women or poc directors or writers out there.”
Still, some approved of adding Favreau to the universe. Fans said Favreau was selected because he’s fit for the job, and his race and gender should not have played a role in the selection process. “Equality involves everyone being equal, choosing people based on their ability not because of their sex or colour,” one user chimed in. He continued, “Jon Favreau is the best choice for #StarWars, he was chosen due to this not because he is a white male.”
In the middle were fans who supported the choice, but also understood why it’s problematic. One tweet said, “I’m excited by this news, but Lucasfilm really needs to announce someone working on their shows at this level that isn’t a white dude fast.”
The untitled “Star Wars” series will be released on the Disney streaming service, which is expected to be available by the end of 2019. Disney first revealed it was working on the series in November.