It looks like the MCU is coming under new fire along with the DCEU. Recently, a formal critique was placed against the superhero series after GLAAD released its annual report documenting LGBTQ representation in film.
The blunt note is made in the organization’s sixth Studio Responsibility Index. The yearly report breaks down the frequency and quality of LGBTQ representation in film, and GLAAD praised franchises like Deadpool while Wonder Woman floundered.
“There have been several films in recent years that have erased a character’s queer identity as they moved from page to screen. In 2017, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok and DC’s Wonder Woman both included characters who are queer in the source material, but did not include any on screen confirmation of their identities. This must change going forward,” the report reads.
For GLAAD, this superhero slight is a big one to call out. The organization has often highlighted LGBTQ heroes within comics, and GLAAD even awards those top-performing series for being inclusive of the community. As the report states, the growing number of LGBTQ heroes in comics is high enough now that their on-screen absence has become unacceptable. And, later on, the report goes on to praise Deadpool 2 for its historic inclusion of a same-sex couple.
“Though wide release films this year like Love, Simon, Annihilation, Blockers, and Negasonic and Yukio’s relationship in Deadpool 2, have raised the bar for LGBTQ images, studios must still do more to ensure that LGBTQ storylines and characters are included in fair and accurate ways. We hope that these films are the start of an upward trend of sustained progress, and not just a blip in the radar of next year’s SRI,” Megan Townsend, Director of Entertainment Research and Analysis at GLAAD, explains.32comments
For now, there is no word on how the MCU or DCEU will move forward with any LGBTQ characters. Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson has said her take on Valkyrie imbued the heroine’s bisexuality, but it was never addressed in the film. Black Panther was also mum about any comic-established romances between some of its Dora Milaje members, and Wonder Woman’s canonical queerness is nowhere to be seen so far. So, the decision on how to address this critique is now in these franchises’ courts.
How do you think the MCU and DCEU should approach this criticism? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!