Kumail Nanjiani thinks Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have "earned the right" to have an opinion on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The 44-year-old actor - who plays Kingo in MCU movie 'Eternals' - admits that while he "disagrees" with Scorsese's thoughts about superhero films, he respects the legendary director's opinion.
He said: "I obviously love the movies Tarantino makes or Scorsese makes, and I may disagree with Scorsese’s opinion on superhero movies, but I mean, who else has earned the right to have an opinion?"
Nanjiani also thinks it is "strange" that people get so "upset" about Scorsese's MCU opinions.
He told Esquire magazine: "If Scorsese hasn’t earned the right to have an opinion on movies, then none of us should have an opinion on movies. It’s so strange that people get upset about it."
In October 2019, Scorsese compared Marvel movies to "theme parks", insisting they are "not cinema".
He said at the time: "I don’t see [Marvel movies]. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."
Later that month, he also said: "The value of a film that's like a theme park film, for example, the Marvel type pictures where the theaters become amusement parks, that's a different experience.
"As I was saying earlier, it's not cinema, it's something else. Whether you go for that or not, it is something else and we shouldn't be invaded by it.
"And so that's a big issue, and we need the theater owners to step up for that to allow theaters to show films that are narrative films."
Several stars, including Taika Waititi, James Gunn and Simu Liu, have hit back at Scorsese's criticism.
Liu - who starred in MCU film 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' - tweeted: "If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie.
"I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don't get to point their nose at me or anyone."
In November, Tarantino hit out at the "Marvel-isation of Hollywood".
He said: "Part of the Marvel-isation of Hollywood is… you have all these actors who have become famous playing these characters, but they’re not movie stars. Right? Captain America is the star. Or Thor is the star. I mean, I’m not the first person to say that. I think that’s been said a zillion times … but it’s like, you know, it’s these franchise characters that become a star."