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The Latest Additions To "New Mutants" Have Spawned Complicated Conversations About Race

It was recently announced that Blu Hunt will play Dani Moonstar and Henry Zaga will play Sunspot in Fox's new X-Men spin-off... and not everyone is happy about it.

Posted on June 2, 2017, at 8:22 p.m. ET

The main cast of Fox's new X-Men spin-off New Mutants is now complete: On Friday, it was announced that Blu Hunt will play Dani Moonstar (also known as Mirage).

Josh Boone / Via instagram.com

Previously, Anya Taylor-Joy was cast as Magik, Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane, Charlie Heaton as Cannonball, and Henry Zaga as Sunspot.

Dani Moonstar is one of the rare Native American superheroes in mainstream comics, and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie focuses on her famous "Demon Bear" storyline.

Marvel

After an international search, Hunt, who is part Native American, was cast to play the Cheyenne mutant. And though some were excited...

Blu Hunt is Native American, FYI. πŸ‘πŸΎ She has Danielle's features (depends on the artwork you look at). Good job!!… https://t.co/fFiDd399Qv

yay blu hunt was cast!! congrats @blufacee, dani is my favorite ❀️ https://t.co/bg1oSq5T8r

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Others were less enthused about the casting.

Not crazy about that Dani Moonstar casting. I don't hate it, but I wanted a more Native American (looking) actress.

I guess Blu Hunt is part Native American, but she doesn't look like Dani Moonstar to me.

Greg Thelen / Via Twitter: @gregthelen

And it wasn't long before backlash started to bubble.

danielle moonstar is full cheyenne and dark skinned but this blu hunt actress is neither idk if I can be hyped for new mutants anymore

jaimie / Via Twitter: @chIoebennets

Blu Hunt is, what, 1/4 Native American? Add the Sunspot guy, this cast is somehow still gonna glow in the dark. https://t.co/yhSqp1IHZC

El Anderson / Via Twitter: @FemmesinFridges
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Hunt's social media accounts indicate that she has long identified with issues important to the indigenous community, especially the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Blu Hunt / Via instagram.com

Her caption reads: "Passive support isn't enough. There are multiple fundraisers to donate your money to, rallies to stand in at, petitions to sign, supply pick ups in Los Angeles, etc. Do your part to help even if it's small. #nodapl"

Around Thanksgiving, she posted: "Having native heritage and being a vegetarian always brings mixed emotions this time of the year. ... Most of us have a lot to be thankful for, but we can not be distracted. We must continue to fight for human rights, animal rights and protecting our planet."

Instagram: @bluhunt

She's also retweeted accounts rallying for support of indigenous issues.

Blu Hunt / Via Twitter: @blufacee

Shortly after the casting was officially announced on Friday, Hunt posted the following on Instagram:

Instagram: @bluhunt

"Honored to be playing the role of Dani Moonstar. Thank you @joshboonemovies for letting me be apart of her story and this amazing movie! πŸŒ™πŸŒŸ #xmennewmutants #danimoonstar" (BuzzFeed News has reached out to a representative for Hunt for a further comment.)

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When it was revealed on Thursday that Zaga would play Sunspot, some pointed out that his casting erases the blackness of the traditionally Afro-Latino character.

Instagram: @joshboonemovies

In his introduction in 1988's Marvel Graphic Novel #4, it's established that Roberto da Costa, aka Sunspot, is the son of an Afro-Brazilian father and white mother, and has faced discrimination due to his blackness.

Marvel Comics

Some fans of the character were quick to criticize the casting on Twitter.

Sunspot has ALWAYS been dark. They couldn't find a dark skinned Brazilian to play Bobby? https://t.co/NFZjBAC87x

Pa$hun / Via Twitter: @Osito1034

This better not be true Sunspot is Afrolatinx. Don't erase his identity https://t.co/rwMqXN7ST0

Latinx Geeks / Via Twitter: @LatinxGeeks
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They are casting Henry Zaga as Roberto Decosta aka Sunspot in New Mutants ? Roberto is meant to be Afro Brazilian.… https://t.co/nersx9e6sS

Tom / Via Twitter: @tommybIakes

This is sunspot. This is What sunspot should've been vs what they actually casted

Shortly after his casting was announced, Zaga said on Instagram and Twitter that he's "so humbled to get to play a Brazilian #xmen."

BuzzFeed News has reached out to a representative for Zaga for a further comment.
David Livingston / Getty Images

BuzzFeed News has reached out to a representative for Zaga for a further comment.

A representative for Fox did not have a comment about the fan reactions to the castings.

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