As if a global pandemic that’s claimed hundreds of thousands of lives wasn’t enough to deal with, the world has also been gripped by protests, demonstrations and riots in a renewed push for racial and social equality, and some of the loudest calls are coming from the movie industry given the reach and profile of many of Hollywood’s biggest names.
Studios have been quick to remove content that modern viewers might find insensitive or offensive, but there’s a fine line between quietly dropping a movie or an episode of TV that doesn’t quite sit right in today’s highly-charged climate and simply removing anything with the potential for controversy, without even looking at it in the proper context.
Even the biggest brands in the business aren’t immune from criticism, even if that criticism comes in the form of a lengthy editorial that frequently contradicts the very points it tries to make, and as the most lucrative and popular game in town, many are expecting the Marvel Cinematic Universe to lead the charge when it comes to increasing diversity and representation in their mega-budget blockbusters.
In a recent interview, Thor: Love and Thunder star Tessa Thompson, who will see her character Valkyrie looking for a Queen in the movie, admitted that Kevin Feige and his team will be at the forefront of the movement throughout Phase Four and beyond.
“The truth is, these movies travel globally in such huge ways, and if you can represent people that are of color, if you can represent people with disabilities, if you can represent the LGBTQIA community inside of these films, it’s a pretty big deal. I think it’s really important for everybody, but for young people especially, to be able to show up to those movies and see projections of themselves. So, I’m really excited that we’re able to continue to push the boundaries of that, and that I’m able to do that with Valkyrie. Because there’s so many cool queer characters in the comic books, and they should have a place onscreen.”
We live in an age where the so-called ‘cancel culture’ runs rampant for even the most trivial of reasons, but also one where people are threatening to boycott The Eternals just because it features a same-sex relationship. There’s literally no way everybody comes out happy on the other end, but at least some of Hollywood’s major players are making a concerted effort.