Benedict Cumberbatch calls ‘Doctor Strange 2’ bans ‘an expected disappointment’
As soon as it was confirmed that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness debutant America Chavez would be presented as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it was inevitable that the Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel would end up facing bans in several territories.
That’s been happening over the last week or so, with countless nations refusing to screen the reality-bending superhero sequel, while Disney and Marvel Studios are at an impasse with Saudi Arabia after refusing to remove a mere 12 seconds of footage from the 126-minute movie, with the corporate monoliths admirably sticking to their respective guns.
We saw the exact same thing happen last year with Eternals, so it’s not as if Doctor Strange 2 being pulled from theaters is a shock. To that end, Benedict Cumberbatch revealed on the press tour (via Reddit) that he was disappointed, but fully expectant that this was the way things would turn out.
“It is, I’m afraid, an expected disappointment. We’ve come to know from those repressive regimes that their lack of tolerance is exclusionary to people who deserve to be, not only included, but celebrated for who they are and made to feel part of a society and a culture and not punished for their sexuality. It feels truly out of step with everything that we’ve experienced as a species, let alone where we’re at globally more as a culture, but frankly it’s just even more reason why this isn’t tokenism to include an LGBTQ+ community member.
This character is that from the comics. It’s not something we’ve created for the sake of diversity. We’ve included her because of how awesome she is as a character. And that’s just one aspect of her character and that’s all it should be, but sadly, it’s also now, politically, very charged. And I wish it wasn’t. I wish we could be having a normalized conversation about this where it wasn’t an issue but we’re not. So we still have to fight. We still have to push for inclusion and equality and I’m very glad in a small, but on a very big canvas, Marvel and Disney are doing that.”
That’s about as eloquent a response as we’d expect from Cumberbatch, but at the end of the day, local audiences are going to be the ones missing out, should Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness manages to live up to its potential.