It’s become perfectly and abundantly clear that an increase in diversity and representation is a key part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Four expansion. Any long-running franchise has to evolve and move with the times to remain relevant, so the superhero saga can’t rely on white dudes in their 30s and 40s forever.
While some will obviously cry foul at the dreaded woke culture coming to steal away everything they love in a blatant attempt to appease the snowflakes, it’s a lot easier to ignore that vocal subsection than engage with them. Marvel don’t need to tout everything they do as some sort of major milestone, with Hawkeye supporting player Yssa Mei Panganiban a perfect example.
Stars of Filipino descent have become important fixtures of the MCU, a list that includes Dave Bautista, Jacob Batalon and Hailee Steinfeld. Panganiban is the latest to join that increasingly illustrious roster, and in an interview with The Direct, the actress spoke about what it means to her to represent the Philippines onscreen.
“Oh, It feels like a blessing, really. I like to say that we’re in a Renaissance right now for, um, AAPI representation, but particularly Filipina representation. I mean, it’s evident in the Marvel universe, the Marvel cinematic universe right now. We’re really making our way in and to be one of the people that’s kind of spearheading that it feels really, really, really good.”
Panganiban has already voiced her desire to stick around and land a role in the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings sequel, so she’s evidently not above dreaming big when it comes to her MCU future.