Jonathan Majors
Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Jonathan Majors' Verdict Proves His Race Was on Trial, Too

The question of race arises, not solely because Majors is Black and his then-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, whom he was found to have assaulted, is a blonde white girl.

Jonathan Majors is at a turning point in a career that has been on a meteoric rise. His arrest and subsequent conviction on two misdemeanor charges of assault and harassment have left him in suspended animation, with the next step being his sentencing on February 6, 2024. One immediate repercussion was that Marvel Studios dropped him from the role of Kang the Conqueror, who was to be the major villain in whatever phase the MCU was now in, culminating in the next Avengers movie.

Majors had already appeared as Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and season one and two of Disney's Loki series. He's also appeared in several feature films, including White Boy Rick, Creed III, Da Five Bloods, The Harder They Fall, and The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Some know him for his starring role in Lovecraft Country.

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The question of race arises, not solely because Majors is Black and his then-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, whom he was found to have assaulted, is a blonde white girl. There is a question about how the charges were applied and why Jabbari wasn't arrested for months after it was deemed sufficient evidence to prosecute her. Charges were immediately dropped when she was arrested, and the district attorney announced they had no intent to pursue charges against her.

There was video evidence to counter her claims against Majors, including her dancing and using a hand that she later reported had a broken finger. Another video shows her chasing Majors down the street as he runs from the encounter. At one point, she retracted her accusation, and the driver of the car where the incident occurred testified that Jabbari struck Majors while he was trying to get away.

Lawyers have made wildly divergent claims about what happened that night. The morning after, Majors called 911 to seek help for a non-responsive Jabbari when he returned to the apartment. He stated in the 911 call he thought she may have overdosed or committed suicide.

During the trial, a recording was played with Majors telling Jabbari he was a "great man" and she was derailing the plan. He said she (Jabbari) needed to be more like Michelle Obama or Coretta Scott King.

He didn't choose anyone looking like Michelle or Coretta; he selected a dancer he met on the set of Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania, who resembled neither. Great men must be especially wary of distractions and the pitfalls that will be placed in their way. Black men with white women historically have attracted enemies. Heavyweight champion Jack Johnson was arrested more than once for his relationships with white women, once while he was married. While the laws have changed, I'm not so sure attitudes have that much. During the trial, Majors was often seen with his new (Black) girlfriend, Meagan Good.

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Race came up during the trial; Majors' lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, noted that when Majors called 911. it was he who got arrested.

"A Black man who found his girlfriend unconscious in his closet, in America, called the police for help, and was arrested when they arrived at his home."

There seemed to be no mention of what caused Jabbari to be non-responsive at his apartment. Had she taken illegal drugs that the prosecution ignored?

Lastly, there are comparisons of how other celebrities were treated in similar situations. Jeremy Renner starred as Hawkeye in the MCU. His ex-wife, Sonni Pacheco, testified in a divorce hearing that Renner bit their daughter, threatened her with a gun, and put a gun in his mouth. A nanny heard Renner say, "It was better that Ava had no parents than to have [Pacheco] as a mother." Pacheco described Renner's drug use, including cocaine and wild partying.

Renner continued working for Marvel, has since starred in a Disney Plus television series, and may appear in future films.

Ezra Miller starred as The Flash in the Justice League movie and was picked to head a solo film, The Flash, before multiple arrests got in the way. He was charged with grooming a child, choking a woman in a bar, and making verbal threats. At the same time, there were delays attributed to COVID-19. The Flash was produced and released, and Miller's career seems unaffected.

Jonathan Majors is facing up to a year in prison on the most serious charge. Maybe he won't get any jail time and can try to pick up his career. Robert Downey, Jr spent 19 months in prison on various drug charges but went on to become Iron Man and the star of the MCU. The Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fair doesn't have anything to do with this situation.

Jonathan Majors' future is partially written, though a few lines will be read at his sentencing. If he has anger management issues, let's hope they're addressed. Maybe he was as guilty as claimed, though he was found not guilty on three charges. Maybe Jabbari lied, as his attorney argued in her final statements.

I'll let Grace Jabbari's attorney, Ross Kramer, have the last word from his statement after the verdict.

"Ms. Jabbari testified publicly and truthfully, even though reliving these traumatic events on the witness stand was painful," Kramer said in a statement provided to The Messenger. "We are grateful to the jurors and the Judge for their attention and patience and to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office for their hard work and support."

"Ms. Jabbari's resolve to see this case through to the end demonstrates her tremendous strength and resilience. Unfortunately, for every survivor like Ms. Jabbari who comes forward to hold their abuser accountable, many others believe that they cannot. We hope that her actions will inspire other survivors to speak their truth and seek justice."

This post originally appeared on Medium and is edited and republished with author's permission. Read more of William Spivey's work on Medium. And if you dig his words, buy the man a coffee.