Esposito has not been officially cast yet but some fans are already starting debates.
Reactions to the possibility of Giancarlo Esposito being cast by Marvel to portray Professor Xavier have been quite mixed. While some people have rejoiced over the potential casting, others immediately claimed that it would be totally out of character and borderline disrespectful to cast Esposito.
The actor himself revealed that he was in negotiations with Marvel Studios and voiced hope to play Professor Xavier. However, few people were ready to support his aspirations.
A lot of fans were quick to predict that "racists are not going to like this", but others argued that it's not really about racism.
"Has nothing to do with that. Has to do with the fact that Xavier is Jewish...and without that you lose his entire backstory. So as long as they keep that origin and it works with whoever is playing him, then it's fine." – @ComicGuySteve75
Other people were quick to plunge into debates whether it's Professor Xavier or Magneto who is Jewish; with many social media users reminding that Black people actually can be Jewish. The discussion swiftly turned into an exchange of racism accusations – or claims that one lacks knowledge of the canon.
But there are fans who couldn't care less about the race, focusing on the different aspects of the character.
"I like the actor [Esposito] but he is not Professor X. Xavier should be more kind and someone you would trust but hides something more about himself. He's also done a lot of questionable shit in the comics," one fan argued.
A lot of people suggested that Ralph Fiennes, renowned for the role of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter saga, could do better as Professor X than Esposito. Others, at the same time, argue that Esposito might as well portray a different, multiversal variant of the character, thus solving any potential issues with the canon.
Still, it would seem that, should Marvel greenlight Esposito as Professor X, it would cause even more controversy in the fandom. However, there have been no official casting announcements to discuss yet.