Is it too little, too late for Marvel Studios when it comes to denouncing its parent company’s support of Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill?
For many fans, that’s the current reality. As LGBTQ+ Disney employees plan daily walkouts until March 22 to express their dissatisfaction with CEO Bob Chapek’s response to the Florida bill banning teachers from discussing gender and sexuality with students in certain grades, Marvel Studios have finally released a statement letting people know where they stand.
“We strongly denounce any and ALL legislation that infringes on the basic human rights of the LGBTQIA+ community,” the statement, which was posted to Twitter, reads. “Marvel Studios stands for hope, inclusivity, and strength; and we proudly stand with the community. Today we pledge to continue our strong commitment as allies who promote the values of equality, acceptance and respect.”
Fans weren’t satisfied with the statement though, as many pointed out the MCU’s continued lack of substantial queer characters, and the long time it took the studio to introduce the few gay characters it does have.
“I dunno why you guys are sh***ing on Marvel,” one fan sarcastically wrote. “They’ve been honestly so progressive with their allyship. And they backed it up with Gay Joe Russo.”
Other fans had specific requests to make current MCU characters gay, cast more queer actors, and introduce more queer characters. Some fans used the tweet to support their idea to cast Euphoria’s Hunter Schafer as the live-action Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman, while another dared Marvel to “show me Kate Bishop and Yelena kissing and scissoring then.” We would like to see it!
The controversy started when it was revealed that Disney was donating money to legislators in Florida who supported the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and got even more fiery when CEO Chapek released a statement saying that the studio would rather make a difference by telling diverse stories than by taking a public stand against the bill and similar ones.
Chapek has since changed his tune, but only after immense pressure from employees, fans and LGBTQ+ rights organizations.
Both Disney and Marvel Studios have been widely criticized for their lack of LGBTQ+ representation on screen, as both studios have only recently started including queer characters in their movies, and are just starting to give those characters real storylines.
Hopefully, this controversy is about to change that.