After facing years of criticism for its lack of LGBTQ+ representation, Marvel Studios is pledging to be more inclusive moving forward.
The company’s executive vice president of film production, Victoria Alonso, made the pledge while speaking to Variety at the fan premiere for Black Widow saying, “It takes time, we have so many stories that we can tell.
“We will empower those that are [LGBTQ+]. We’re not changing anything. We’re just showing the world who these people are, who these characters are … There’s a lot that we have coming up that I think will be representative of the world of today. We’re not going to nail it in the first movie or the second movie or third movie, or the first show or second show, but we will do our best to consistently try to represent.”
Alonso’s comments come after the third episode of Loki, in which the trickster revealed that he is bisexual, was well-received by fans and critics who have been yearning to see more representation for the LGBTQ+ community.
In the comic books, Loki is canonically pansexual and genderfluid, making him one of several Queer characters in the universe. However, fans have long been frustrated that the LGBTQ+ superheroes and villains from the graphic novels have largely overlooked when it comes to the screen.
Responding to a question about the decision to also portray Loki as genderfluid in the series, just as he is in the comic books, Alonso said that it was simply Marvel remaining faithful to the character. “I have to be honest with you, it’s not a big deal,” she said. “It is what it is when it suits the character. We’re not going to do it because it’s politically correct or incorrect. It is what it is. Don’t forget, we follow our comics. We try to follow them quite to the tee. So in the comics, this is who he was.”
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has also been vocal about his desire to diversify the MCU, confirming in 2019 that Valkyrie would definitely have an LGBTQ+ storyline in Thor: Love and Thunder. “How that impacts the story remains to be seen with that level of representation you’ll see across our films, not in just Thor 4,” he said.
Played by Tessa Thompson, who has been open about having relationships with both men and women herself, Valkrie is also bisexual in the comic books, and in a relationship with anthropologist Annabelle Riggs.
Speaking at Comic-Con 2019 about Thor: Love and Thunder, Thompson said: “As the new king, she needs to find her queen. So that will be the first order of business.”
Elsewhere in the MCU, the upcoming film The Eternals will feature its first openly gay main character to feature on the big screen. The film, directed by Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao, focuses on a group of celestial beings who have been watching over humans throughout history but have theoretically never interfered.
In the movie, Phastos — played by Brian Tryee Henry — will, according to Feige, share a kiss with his husband (Haaz Sleiman) which would mark the first kiss shared by a same-sex couple in the MCU.