The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is officially in the books, and its six episodes brought some major new developments in the stories of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). In addition to some massive leaps for each character's superhero tenure in the MCU, the series offered a domestic look at their civilian lives. Given the fact that some fans have been clamoring to see moments like that in the MCU for years, they definitely launched a number of additional fan theories and speculation as the series marched along. Among those was a theory from the series' first episode, in which Bucky laments about the number of "tiger photos" he saw while trying to navigate dating sites. Some fans took the line to be long-awaited confirmation that Bucky is bisexual, as men usually post photos of themselves alongside tigers on social media, but according to series director Kari Skogland, that wasn't the case.
“I think we just thought of it as an oddity of the times, because he’s so confused by it,” Skogland recently told Variety. “Because don’t forget, he’s 106 years old. So he’s just confused by the whole thing.”
“What we were really more trying to display was his complete lack of technical skills, as well as being part of any kind of community,” Skogland continued. “He doesn’t fit. So that was I think more our intention there that try to point to any one particular affinity.”
So, while the moment doesn't definitively confirm that Bucky is bisexual, the fact that the scene doesn't, as Skogland pointed out, "point to any one particular affinity" could help keep those fan theories alive. Those theories also stretched to Bucky's onscreen dynamic with Sam, which Skogland argued wasn't intended to be interpreted in a romantic or sexual context.
“It’s really love, right?” Skogland added. “They love each other — at the end. They don’t love each other at the beginning, but they come to a friendship place where they love each other. So I’m not really sensitive to masculinity as any kind of barrier between that love, or how it should manifest. I’m completely fluid when it comes to any of that. So there’s no defined sexuality to any of it. So it’s, really, I think, just affection.”
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