This past weekend, the trailer for the newest version of The Equalizer became available to watch on Twitter. Based on the CBS television series that aired from 1985 to 1989 and starred Edward Woodward, which was later adapted into two feature films starring Dustin’s favorite actor Denzel Washington, this adaptation now stars Queen Latifah in the role of Robyn McCall, a recently retired government operative who decides to use her skills to help others who can’t find help anywhere else.
There were those who were very happy to see Queen Latifah onscreen once again and to see her kicking ass and taking names. And there were also other people who couldn’t help but laugh and roll their eyes and talk shit at 1) The Equalizer now being played a woman, 2) The Equalizer now being played by a Black woman, and 3) the sight of fifty-year-old Queen Latifah being in action hero mode and expecting viewers to find that believable.
“NOPE! Yall just EQUALIZED the Equalizer with this bullshit comedy sketch…”
“At the one minute mark, she couldn’t even get her leg all the way up to actually kick in the door and i fucking lost it. Yes, please show us more of this old and out of shape woman supposedly taking down younger in shape men. What a steaming pile of garbage.”
“What a joke. Another stupid gender spin on an original series. Like there is any reality to this. LMAO Should be on the kids network or sci-fi for being a big joke.”
“Call me when CBS brings back the Wayans brothers as Simon & Simon.”
(Is that supposed to be an insult? Because I actually would watch a remake of Simon & Simon starring the Wayans Brothers. Anyway, back to these oh-so-delightful tweets…)
“Oh ffs. i want this like i want Brad Pitt to Play Shaft. Respect the source material.”
(Sorry to tell you this, random Internet f-ckboy, but if anyone is going to play Shaft in the next movie, it’s obviously going to be Michael Cera)
“I’m sorry, I just have a hard time believing a woman could beat up a room full of men with her bare hands. If u wanna give her a gun and tell me her instincts and reflexes are better and she always wins bc of that… then fine. But a straight up fistfight? The dude’s gonna win. A 50-yr old, heavy-set black woman is out here beating up bad guys all by herself? Give her super powers and I’m wit it. But if they want me to believe it how it is, The Equalizer needs to be the chick from Black Panther not old ass Queen Latifah.”
So of course, it’s not at all surprising to see people on the Internet get annoyed and upset when they see a well-known fictional character who was originally White and/or male becoming race-swapped and gender-flipped as Black and/or female. It’s already happened many times before with Nick Fury, and Iris West, Black Canary, and Deadshot, and Perry White, and Domino, and Michelle “MJ” Jones (because Marvel/Disney for some reason are too cowardly to actually let Zendaya play Mary Jane “MJ” Watson), and Aquaman, and the Ghostbusters, and Little Orphan Annie. And it most definitely will happen again, with me and many others responding like this to those people on the Internet when they throw their racist and sexist temper tantrums and get mad…
What is slightly more surprising is the fact that many of the complaints coming from f-ckboys on the Internet is in regards to Queen Latifah being too old to play McCall and to be the lead in an action series. (And honestly, I should stop being surprised at the things that f-ckboys will say and do on the Internet, because they never stop finding ways to infuriate and disappoint whenever they let their idiocy and their Keyboard Courage do the talking for them). And they say this while completely ignoring the fact that when The Equalizer first aired in 1985, Edward Woodward was 55 years old. Denzel Washington was 60 years old when he starred in the film adaptation of The Equalizer and was 64 by the time he starred in The Equalizer 2. Liam Neeson was 56 when he first starred in Taken and by the time he did Taken 3 and appeared in beautifully-edited action sequences such as this, he was 62. Harrison Ford was 66 when he did Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and is going to be 79 by the time Indiana Jones 5 goes into production later this year.
And yet, Marisa Tomei is 56 but only gets to play Aunt May and have characters repeatedly comment on how hot she is instead of playing an actual superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Amy Adams, Erica Durance, and Elizabeth Tulloch all get to play their own versions of Lois Lane, but are seen by f-ckboys who call themselves Superman fans as too old to play Lois and to be in a relationship with Superman/Clark Kent, and who think that a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter with a long and outstanding career should be played by a twentysomething actress like Florence Pugh. (I think that Pugh would do a terrific job if she were cast as Lois Lane in about a decade or so, but that’s not the point). As for Latifah being too heavyset and out-of-shape for the action scenes that The Equalizer would require: being plus-sized didn’t stop Martin Lawrence from doing his thing in Bad Boys For Life, it didn’t stop Nick Frost from doing his thing in any of the films in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy, and it clearly wasn’t a problem for Melissa McCarthy when she did Spy. And do I really have to remind these same f-ckboys that George Miller was seventy years old when he directed Mad Max: Fury Road, and that several of the actresses who played members of the Vuvalini a.k.a. The Many Mothers were in their sixties and seventies when they appeared in the film?
Time will soon tell if The Equalizer will be worth watching, and if it will actually give me a reason to watch shows on CBS again. (I still have to catch up on The Unicorn starring Walton Goggins, who really does make everything better just with his presence alone, and as much as I love the friendship between Simone Missick and Wilson Bethel’s characters on All Rise, this particular incident left a really bad taste in my mouth, and the fact that there has seemingly been no follow-up to this really isn’t a good look and seems like yet another black eye for CBS when it comes to the working environments for their shows). And if the show doesn’t look like your brand of whiskey and that’s your reason for not tuning in, that’s obviously and entirely your right. But if Queen Latifah’s age, gender, body size, and skin color are your excuses for thinking that The Equalizer isn’t going to be any good, and that those are valid reasons for why she doesn’t deserve this role, you can miss us all with your bullsh-t and take it somewhere else as you f-ck off and f-ck off some more and keep f-cking off all the way into the sun.
I’m sure there’s probably a more polite and less profane way to end this. But I can’t think of one, so this will have to do.
The Equalizer premieres on Sunday, February 7, 2021 right after the Super Bowl.
Header Image Source: CBS