Dear Marvel: This is Not What LGBT Rep Looks Like

Avengers: Endgame, the long awaited finale to the Avengers franchise has already earned over 2 billion dollars worldwide. The film has gotten both praise and criticism from fans, but has overall had a positive reception. Before its release, actors and directors begged fans to keep spoilers to themselves. But, the directors did hint at some movie content. They announced via Twitter that the movie would feature Marvel's first gay character, and that it would be someone fans would never expect.

They were certainly right about that—there was no way for fans to guess that the openly gay character would be a nameless man who has never been seen before and would never be seen again after his minute long cameo. Played by director Joe Russo himself, the character is seen in the first act of the movie and mentions a date with another man. This was the groundbreaking moment that the directors hyped up on Twitter, talking about how important representation is to them. In 2019, is the bar really that low?

Fans who have long speculated about the sexuality of certain characters were disappointed in this reveal. Especially because of the way the directors spoke about it beforehand, many hoped that a main character would be revealed to be gay. Instead, they were shown an unknown character in a throwaway scene.

In fact, in Russia, where “gay propaganda” is criminalized, this scene is dubbed over to eliminate the romantic context. Because the scene has no relevance or impact to the plot of the film, this can be done easily. Were the scene to be removed completely, there would be no effect on the movie, as it is never spoken about before or after. It seems very obvious that it was included to make headlines and get publicity in the United States, while it could be removed to make the film more palatable to countries with strict censorship laws.

For that, I say to Marvel—you can do better. This is not what good LGBT representation looks like.