There have long been rumors that the villains of the upcoming Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) may be gay, but comments from Ewan McGregor and Chris Messina has some fans angry. Specifically, fans are upset that the Roman Sionis/Black Mask and Victor Zsasz actors are simply baiting fans with the suggestion that the characters will be gay only for them to ultimately end up being straight.
At the Birds of Prey soundtrack premiere on Thursday, McGregor and Messina were asked by Variety about the rumors around Black Mask and Victor's relationship were true. McGregor initially tried to explain that the pair have a "complicated" relationship before ultimately claiming "more than likely, yes."
"It's very complicated," McGregor said. "Their relationship is very much based... there's a want and a need there for sure."
"There's a real love of anarchy," Messina added.
However, it's the ambiguous "more than likely" from McGregor that has some upset that this is going to be a bait-and-switch situation in which neither character is actually gay and it prompted an "eye roll" emoji reaction from Lion King star Billy Eichner. Eichner took to Twitter to express his disappointment in the comments.
"Honestly just say they're straight," he wrote. "Please. Enough with this have it both ways nonsense. IMAGINE HOW TIRED WE ARE."
Eichner wasn't alone in his reaction to McGregor and Messina's comments. Many fans replied to Eichner's post indicating their shared frustration. While many pointed out the possible "queerbaiting" of McGregor's comments, others were upset that it would also be a case of "gaycoding villains" that is also unacceptable.
The issue of LGBTQ+ representation in Birds of Prey is something that has been a little bit of a question mark generally. The film features Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, a character who in comics is canonically lesbian, though it hasn't been entirely evident from trailers and teasers if that aspect of the character is something that is going to be touched on in the film. That said, there have been some hints in the trailers and teasers that there may be a deeper relationship between Black Mask and Victor.22comments
Ultimately, fans will get to see for themselves whether Black Mask and Victor are in fact gay and, if so, how the film approaches their representation when Birds of Prey hits theaters next month.
Upcoming DC movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7th, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, Black Adam on December 22, 2021, Shazam! 2 on April 1, 2022, The Flash on July 1, 2022, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.