Avengers: Endgame spoilers ahead – You have been warned!
With Avengers: Endgame already breaking the mould (along with a whole load of box office records) when it comes to superhero movies, the 22nd entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has caused a bit of a stir by introducing the franchise’s first openly gay character.
The scene that has caused a stir has Chris Evans’ Captain America heading up a counselling meeting in the aftermath of Thanos’ big snap. Jumping five years into the future following “The Decimation”, Cap is chatting to a man at one of the NYC help groups.
The man (played by director Joe Russo) explains how he went on a date with another man. Both struggled to come to terms with losing half of the galaxy’s population and broke down crying. Joe’s character apparently made it to dessert before he burst into tears. However, it appears romance is on the cards because he says he’ll see his date again. A wholesome ending to a slightly sad moment in the movie. Good for you Joe Russo’s character!
Audiences have vented their frustrations on Twitter and called out the Russos for not making more of this moment:
ive never felt more represented watching a film unnamed character #38 is a gay icon thank u marvel https://t.co/PNNkJVEVnS— chris saw endgame x2 (@mattmurdork) April 26, 2019
all of us after finding out who the “first openly gay character of marvel” was pic.twitter.com/1gMVJZdyER— pauline ⎊ eg spoilers!! (@IRONSPlDEYS) April 26, 2019
marvel making their “first openly gay” character a minor character is so disappointing— rhia ⧗ READ PINNED IF UNF? (@CHAVEZBABS) April 23, 2019
a gay character?? i don’t even know if he qualifies as a character, he was just a glorified extra— morgan ⎊ saw endgame (@cxpdanvxrs) April 27, 2019
the gay character in endgame is so disappointing pic.twitter.com/OaRQt4zhu2— amber saw endgame (@mcuyeuns) April 24, 2019
mcu moments that were gayer than gay joe russo:— sylvia ⎊ endgame SPOILERS! (@stellarcarol) April 30, 2019
– carol’s new haircut
– america’s ass
– nat & pepper in iron man 2
– “on your left”
– the entirety of thor: ragnarok
– carol danvers again
– dr strange cloak slapping tony’s ass
– peter parker
So it took Marvel 22 movies and the elimination of half the population to find a single gay man in their cinematic universe? pic.twitter.com/7lMKYWHj2g— Damian Holbrook (@damianholbrook) April 28, 2019
Even openly gay actor and American Horror Story star Billy Eichner had his say on the controversy:
The 3 lines spoken by a gay character in Endgame made me straight.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) April 30, 2019
Considering characters like Valkyrie and Okoye were supposed to have LGBTQ+ backstories before these arcs were cut from their movies, Endgame could’ve redeemed either of these misfires. Both Valkyrie and Okoye survived Thanos’ snap but were sidelined in favour of other heroes.
Still, there’s no escaping the importance of Endgame introducing an openly gay character after 11 years of the MCU. Speaking to Deadline, Russo said, “It was important to us as we did four of these films, we wanted a gay character somewhere in them.”
He continued, “We felt it was important that one of us play him, to ensure the integrity and show it is so important to the filmmakers that one of us is representing that.”
“It is a perfect time, because one of the things that is compelling about the Marvel Universe moving forward is its focus on diversity.”
Joe and Anthony Russo say they’re done (for now) with the MCU, leaving a question mark over their involvement with Phase 4 and beyond. It’s also unclear where LGBTQ+ progression in the world’s highest-grossing franchise goes next.
That being said, The Eternals is reportedly looking for an openly gay actor to play one of the movie’s leads. Whatever you think of Endgame‘s gay character, at least the tides are changing and the MCU is ‘trying’ to wave its Pride flag.
[Featured Image: Disney/Marvel]