The MCU's highly-anticipated Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is reportedly banned in several countries prior to the film's theatrical release due to the inclusion of a gay Marvel character and LGBTQ+ themes. Just when Marvel Studios is taking a major leap in pushing LGBTQIA+ representation and diversity, this decision was sadly met with some negative reactions.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will see Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular sorcerer, together with MCU veteran Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch, who's rumored to play the villain in the film. Aside from the two, the Doctor Strange sequel will also be the debut of Xochitl Gomez who will play America Chavez, the MCU's first Latina LGBTQ character.
As Xochitl Gomez finds herself in the middle of a controversy, Marvel Cinematic Studios President Victoria Alonso defended America Chavez's inclusion and explained why Gomez's character matters.
Marvel recently posted an exclusive interview on their website, featuring MCU newcomer Xochitl Gomez and Victoria Alonso, discussing Gomez's excitement in her MCU debut as America Chavez.
After Gomez opened up on her preparations before diving into the character, Alonso spoke about Chavez's significance in the MCU in terms of representation. “This character was important to me for many personal reasons, but also because it was important that we make the effort to have every kid in this world represented in our universe, and she represents both the LGBTQ+ and Latinx community," Alonso said. "It’s the type of character I’ve been waiting to see us have since we started this journey with Iron Man back in 2008. I’m so happy she is part of the MCU family, and I know she will be a great addition.”
Alonso added, “[America] is a young Latina who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, and has great power... Children want to see themselves represented. There is this level of identity that comes to be a very important moment in an adolescent’s life – to see themselves; to not be invisible.”
Gomez also chimed in to express her hopes that kids her age will "see a young person in the middle of a big story."
“It’s so cool that fans will get to see a young person in the middle of a big story like this, and know that things that happen in our kid lives are important because it shapes who they’ll become when they’re older as adults. It’s exciting that we will hopefully get to see more of how things play out for America in the future.”
America Chavez is an openly gay character from its source material, the Marvel Comics, and the MCU certainly won’t cut that out from the live-action version of the character. Fortunately, the world of superheroes today has increasingly become diverse, and Marvel undoubtedly knows the importance of representation in the film industry.
And it seems like both Disney and Marvel stand firm with their decision after declining a request from Saudi Arabia to cut out a 12-second gay reference scene from the film, proving that they are indeed committed to bringing a more colorful world to the MCU.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres in theaters on May 4.