Jurnee Smollett Portrays DC’s Black Canary In Harley Quinn’s New Film, But Is This A Problem?
While the damage has certainly been done to Jussie Smollett’s career (staging a racist and homophobic politically charged attack on himself in Chicago last year where he paid two acquaintances to fake the attack on him, complete with noose and alleged Make America Great Again apparel, getting him blacklisted from Hollywood, his Empire role ripped from him, and he’s still being prosecuted for a false report) he has five other siblings who are performers. One of those siblings is Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who has been in a little bit of everything, including Full House, True Blood, and Friday Night Lights. Her next role – and not one to be shy about – is this winter’s much anticipated Birds of Prey, a film about the DC Universe fan favorite, villain, and anti-hero, Harley Quinn. We are all excited for the movie, but will there be some familial backlash there?
Related Post: Jussie Smollett Not Expected to Return to ‘Empire’
Jurnee Smollett-Bell portrays Dinah Laurel Lance AKA Black Canary. If you’re up to date on comics and superheroes, you’ll remember that Black Canary has an ultrasonic scream, can pretty much fly, and is a superb martial artist who is often written as the girlfriend of Green Arrow. Historically, Black Canary is Caucasian with blonde hair and blue eyes, but there’s been no Twitter uproar over color casting like we saw with the upcoming live action Little Mermaid. This must mean everyone is excited to see the character in a live action film for the first time and doesn’t care about the skin color of a fictional character … as it should be. Canary is a prominent member of the Justice League and will be a great addition to the DC Universe films as we know it. However, will it be difficult to get over the fact that Smollett-Bell is the younger sister of Jussie? Although Harley Quinn has an enormous fan base, will the Jussie relation affect box office sales?
Hear me out: Jussie allegedly tried igniting a racial, homophobic, political riot to pursue his own agenda. He is quoted in his sit down with media mogul Robin Roberts claiming that he “comes hard for 45” AKA his alleged staged attack was to sour the reigning Trump Administration – and it definitely did for a moment, until it blew up in his face and lies were uncovered. I know plenty of people who have disowned family members for being Trump Supporters and Lord only knows, after the Trump Administration is over with, who the heck is going to continue to support his family members in their own individual endeavors? Isn’t it common knowledge they as a family are all about to be blacklisted and shamed once those feet finally step out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
For clarity: Jurnee was cast in the film before Jussie’s antics. Yet, it still could be uncomfortable to choose to support Jurnee with the purchase of a ticket when her brother caused mass hysteria and harm towards the gay community. Ignorant minds once believed all gay people were pedophiles and now would the same minds consider us liars who are self-serving because of the aftermath of Jussie’s actions? It’s a complicated corner to be in. I’d like to give Jurnee the benefit of the doubt and see her continue to thrive in her career, but one can’t help but be a little curious that she isn’t even dodging any questions about her brother in press for the upcoming film. It’s completely ignored, so she’s likely unwilling to talk about it. To some, that’s not enough.
With a stellar cast consisting of the outrageously talented Margot Robbie, scream queen Mary Elizabeth Winstead, everyone’s gal pal Rosie Perez, and Ewan McGregor playing DC Universe’s first openly gay villain, Black Mask – it’s almost impossible for the film to fail in any aspect. Birds of Prey is in theaters everywhere on Friday. You will be supporting?
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.