The worldwide release of Marvel Studios' Eternals has been met with some controversy in certain counties over the same-sex relationship featuring Brian Tyree Henry's Phastos. Those countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, have banned the film and called on Marvel Studios to remove those scenes from Eternals before it's allowed to be screened, but the studio has remained steadfast in its commitment to keep the film in its original state. One Eternals star, Angelina Jolie, has commended Marvel Studios for not cutting the LGBTQ relationship and calls anyone who is upset over the footage "ignorant."
"I'm sad for [those audiences]. And I'm proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out," Jolie told news.com.au during a press roundtable. "I still don't understand how we live in a world today where there's still [people who] would not see the family Phastos has and the beauty of that relationship and that love. How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn't approve or appreciate it is ignorant."
Jolie appears to be firmly on the pro-Marvel side of this controversy. If Marvel were to edit the film for other countries, it would diminish the much-needed representation Marvel Studios has been working to add to the MCU.
Phastos will be a part of the first same-sex kiss onscreen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is in a relationship with a man named Ben, with the two sharing custody of their son. "There have been gay heroes before in the comics. It is more than past time in the movies," Feige explained to Variety in October. "It's just the start."
"It takes time, we have so many stories that we can tell," Marvel producer Victoria Alonso told Variety earlier in the year. "We will empower those that are. We're not changing anything. We're just showing the world who these people are, who these characters are… There's a lot that we have coming up that I think will be representative of the world of today. We're not going to nail it in the first movie or the second movie or third movie, or the first show or second show, but we will do our best to consistently try to represent."
"I have to be honest with you, it's not a big deal," Alonso added. "It is what it is when it suits the character. We're not going to do it because it's politically correct or incorrect. It is what it is. Don't forget, we follow our comics. We try to follow them quite to the tee. So in the comics, this is who he was."
Eternals is now available in theaters. If you've already seen it, let us know your thoughts down in the comments section below.