‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Calls Out Racism in America in the Latest Episode from Disney+

Main character Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) faces the reality of racism in America during an encounter with the police in the latest episode of the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Julie Vrabelová / Marvel Studios

Main character Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) faces the reality of racism in America during an encounter with the police in the latest episode of the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Main character Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) faces the reality of racism in America during an encounter with the police in the latest episode of the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios

In the episode “The Star Spangled Man” that released on March 26, Sam and Bucky (played by Sebastian Stan) find themselves in Baltimore, Maryland, arguing on the streets. A cop car pulls up and two white officers approach the bickering duo. Matters escalated quickly as one of the officers calls for Sam to calm down, and proceeds to profile him.

As the ongoing trial of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin persists for the killing of George Floyd, this scene of racial profiling is that much more relevant. It highlights the ongoing reality of racism in America following the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death, and the summer of Black Lives Matter protests that took place in 2020.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier depicts this recent history with subtlety. As fans have pointed out, it is a strength of the show’s plot but doesn’t take away from the character’s main goals. Still, race remains a part of the conversation nonetheless.

“[The episode] posits that what America symbolizes and what Captain America stands for are two very different things, and most impressively it manages to do that by authentically highlighting the Black experience in America,” Richard Newby writes in a review for The Hollywood Reporter.

Main character Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) faces the reality of racism in America during an encounter with the police in the latest episode of the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios

The six-part miniseries is currently two episodes in and continues to gain traction in ratings at Disney+. Whether The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will continue to depict instances of racism, profiling, and police brutality is unclear; it will be revealed in time with weekly episodes released every Friday on Disney+.