Marvel Studios Denounces Don’t Say Gay Bill But…

Marvel Studios recently denounced the Florida Don’t Say Gay bill in a statement on social media but the studio needs to go further.

I’m happy to see Marvel Studios denouncing the legislation. However, it isn’t enough for the studio to simply denounce the bill. No, they need to go further and make a principled effort in LGBTQ content appearing on the screen. We know that there are LGBTQ characters in the comics. In recent years, there’s been an effort to place LGBTQ content on the screen but it isn’t enough. There should be a bigger effort to put LGBTQ characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not as a throwaway but as characters who play a big role in serving the story.

Marvel Entertainment also stands with the statement from Marvel Studios.

Valkyrie is supposed to be bisexual in the MCU but you would never know this from watching Thor: Ragnarok. This is because the scene is not anywhere in the film. We know that there is a gay character in Avengers: Endgame. However, the scene is so short that you could get delete it altogether without taking anything away from the film. The most LGBTQ content to date is Phastos kissing his husband in Eternals and it comes after Marvel released some 20+ films in 13 years. I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall just saying this but we need more representation in the film. Not the type where the studio can just cut it out to please censors. No, I’m talking about actual representation that has a meaningful impact on its viewers.

If you’re a regular reader of Solzy at the Movies, you already know I’m transgender. I make no secret of this fact. If you’re just coming in by way of finding this piece elsewhere, welcome! I am transgender but for so many people, I’m the first trans person that they have ever met. This is why LGBTQ representation is so important on screen. If we never see it, we don’t know that it’s a thing. Take it from me–I grew up in the 1990s knowing something was off. But without the education and awareness, how was I to know that there’s a term for it?!? Films and television have the ability to make a major impact on its audience. I’ll touch on this here in a moment.

Marvel Studios could end up making its biggest impact if they make a bigger effort in representation! Look at what DC Comics is doing with the Arrowverse! There is so much LGBTQ representation with one transgender superhero already. Another transgender character is on the way! Why can’t Marvel do this? Is there a rule coming from Disney’s executive offices? Are they trying to not piss off any anti-LGBTQ consumers? I’d rather piss off the anti-LGBTQ consumer than pretend that LGBTQ people don’t exist.

A statement denouncing the anti-LGBTQ bill is not enough when you barely see any LGBTQ representation in the movies or television series. Loki and Sylvie were both confirmed as bisexual during an episode last summer. Taika Waititi’s Korg is gay but this is confirmed only through an Instagram live and not in the films. Speed and Wiccan are bi and gay, respectively, in the comics but there are currently zero hints at their sexuality in the MCU yet. Hawkeye featured a LARPer, Wendy Conrad, but like many of the others, we only know this from a throwaway line. All eyes are going to be on America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The character is a lesbian in the comics. Will any transgender characters make their way to the MCU? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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