Disney () is engulfed in a political conflict owing to its support for the LGBTQ community, after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sanctioned Disney for allegedly dispeling his "Don't Say Gay Bill" by attempting to revoke Disney's designation as a special tax district (which, in turn, is a depressing act).
Und once more, the company appears to be unwilling to back down in support of the LGBTQ community.
This time, it comes to one of Disney's most famous landmarks, Marvel Studios, and the inclusion of a LGBTQ character in one of its most anticipated films.
Since 1992, Marvel Comics has openly featured LGBTQ characters, including Northstar, a mutant and "Alpha Flight."
In 2005, Marvel introduced a new group of teenage superheroes called "Young Avengers," which included a number of LGBTQ actors, and is thought to be the time in which Marvel began making an effort to tell more stories.
The subject of Marvel Studios is quite different: with a lot more money on the line, which is the sort of thing that makes managers so depressing.
After the record-breaking success of 2012's "The Avengers," there weren't any LGBTQ characters on the screen, when the Marvel Cinematic Universe officially kicked off in 2008 with "Iron Man" and basically began conquering the film industry.
This is how things have changed, and now it looks like Marvel is making its largest effort for on-screen LGBTQ representation yet, although it does not provide immediate backing.
Which Marvel film is causing controversy?
The most recent film, 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,' featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular sorcerer, will be released on May 5th.
The character America Chavez, a teen superhero with super strength, flight, and the ability to punch holes in reality that allow her to travel through the multiverse, is introduced in the film. (Marvel is all in on the multiverse these days.) America Chavez (who will be played by Xochitl Gomez) is a lesbian.
The President of Marvel asked whether or not the character might be portrayed as homosexual in the film at the start, and the reviews of the film haven't been published.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film was ruined because to America Chavez's portrayal, and films that included LGBTQ references or issues often fail to gain access to independent filmmakers.
The Saudi Arabian cinema classification board has announced that the film is not prohibited, but that it may make adjustments before it is possible to release it in the region.
Nawaf Alsabhan, Saudi Arabia's general supervisor of cinema classification, has said that the issue consists of "12 seconds" from the film in which Chavez mentions her "two moms."
The classification board has requested that these 12 seconds be edited out, but yet Marvel has refused to do so.
"It's very difficult to pass something like this in the Middle East," Alsabhan told Variety. "We sent it to the distributor, and the distributor sent it to Disney, and Disney has told us they are not willing."
The film was set to premiere on May 5 in the Gulf, but yet it's unclear if it'll happen or not.
Marvel Studios is the subject of a series of studios.
Marvel Isn't Getting Back on LGBTQ Characters
While Marvel would allow gay actors on its Netflix shows, including one on "Jessica Jones," it was more skittish about the films. It is also a concern that fans and creators are under pressure for enhanced inclusion.
A gay charter named Phastos was portrayed by Brian Tyree Henry as having a husband. in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait because of the couple, causing controversy from actress Angelina Jolie and other members of the cast. A version of the film, which includes any references to Phastos' sexuality, was removed in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.
China is regularly prohibited from producing LGBTQ movies. 'Eternals' was not officially released in the United Kingdom, but it is understood that this was because as much to Phastos as director Chloe Zhao's.
While it's unclear how gay America Chavez will be allowed to appear onscreen, Marvel has huge plans for her character. She will appear in next year's 'The Marvels,' a sequel to 2019's 'Captain Marvel,' featuring Brie Larson.
On the more speculative side, America Chavez has traditionally served as a member of the Young Avengers, and while Marvel hasn't announced a film or Disney+ show about the team, several characters from the comic were introduced last year, including the Kate Bishop version of Hawkeye in last year's "Hawkeye" and the Scarlet Witch's sons Speed and Wiccan were introduced in last year's "WandaVision." (In the comics, Wiccan is homosexual and in
With more young superheroes on the way from Marvel, such as this summer's "Ms. Marvel," which includes a Pakistani-American teenager with shape-shifting abilities, and next year's "Ironheart," who includes Chavez as well as Wiccan, it appears unlikely.
A major flaw for those who wish to see more involvement in the Marvel films is that director Taika Waititi described a scene in 'Thor: Ragnarok' that would have confirmed Tessa Thompson's character Valkyrie as queer.
The sequel 'Thor: Love and Thunder' will be available on July 8, but Feige has begun saying that Phastos is of Marvel's LGBTQ representation.