Deadpool 2 Writers Defend How They Handled The Female Characters

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Deadpool 2 has recently come under fire for its treatment of Wade Wilson’s girlfriend Vanessa, with many accusing writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick of indulging in the ‘Women in Refrigerators’ trope.

The concept of ‘fridging’ was introduced by critic and comic book writer Gail Simone, taking the phenomenon’s name from an issue of Green Lantern in which Kyle Rayner finds his girlfriend dead in a refrigerator. It’s basically a term for any example of a female character being attacked or killed purely as a means of granting more emotional weight to the leading man’s story, often inspiring him to seek vengeance for the wrongdoing.

As well as this trope being observed in the murder of Vanessa early on in the flick, the deaths of Cable’s wife and daughter were also regarded by some viewers as examples of fridging. Writers Reese and Wernick have now responded to the controversy, telling Vulture that they were unfamiliar with the trope:

“I would say no, we didn’t even think about it. And that was maybe our mistake, not to think about it. But it didn’t really even occur to us.” Reese explains. “We didn’t know what fridging was.”

Reese also points out that the new movie has multiple strong and developed female characters, saying:

“I also think we definitely paid attention to trying to fill the movie with a diverse group of strong female characters, interesting, different female characters,” Reese says. “Whether it’s Domino, or Negasonic Teenage Warhead — and Vanessa, herself, obviously, is certainly that. So we’ve definitely made a point of not having this just be a testosterone-fueled thing.”

In a typically cheeky move for the series, Deadpool 2 features a mid-credits scene in which Wilson journeys into the past using Cable’s time travel device to save his girlfriend, suggesting that Vanessa may still be alive and kicking in future sequels after all.

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