At long last, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is just starting to offer up some LGBTQ+ representation. We had to wait until Avengers: Endgame to have even a one-scene character portrayed as openly gay, but Loki made waves by confirming that the God of Mischief was bisexual, making him the franchise’s first queer lead. The movies will soon follow suit with this November’s Eternals introducing Phastos, who’ll be portrayed as a gay married man.
The frustrating thing, though, is that there seems to be a ceiling to how far Marvel can go in this direction. So far, the MCU’s moments of LGBT rep are reduced to self-contained scenes which, if you’re thinking cynically, can be easily cut so as not to offend international markets that censor queer content. It’s something that upsets fans and it seems that Marvel president Kevin Feige feels the exact same way.
We’re hearing from our reliable sources – the same ones who told us Luke Skywalker would appear in The Mandalorian season 2 – that Feige is mad at Disney as they aren’t allowing Marvel to explore too many LGBT themes in upcoming MCU films, mostly to appease China. As we know well by now, Feige is keen to keep on diversifying the MCU as much as possible so it’s no surprise that he’s angry with the studio for forbidding him from doing just that.
Feige’s been fighting an uphill battle to diversify the franchise since the beginning. At first, he couldn’t even get any movies not based around white males off the ground due to Marvel Entertainment’s Ike Perlmutter’s influence. After the company was restructured, and he got to work independently of Perlmutter, he then finally moved forward with the likes of Black Panther and Captain Marvel.
More Marvel firsts are coming later this year, in Shang-Chi and the aforementioned Eternals, but there’s still much more to be done and – by the sounds of it – many more battles to be won.