Actress Elizabeth Olsen, known for her role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in “The Avengers” franchise, announced her excitement to see the superhero genre to become more inclusive regarding racial and sexual diversity.
Speaking with Fox News, Olsen said that “now more than ever” is the time to see representation in the superhero genre.
“I think it’s important to have all representations of superheroes on the big screen, now more than ever,” said Olsen. “I feel like we are moving and we are making changes. And … I’ve always just felt it’s hard for me to say I have been treated so and so way because I’m a female at work because … I’ve always had a lucky experience.”
Olsen added that people of color and sexual minorities have not had the same lucky experience as her, which makes sense when considering she is the younger sister of twin duo Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen – two of the biggest child stars of the 1990s.
“But I do believe that, that I know and I understand that that’s not the universal experience,” said Olsen. “I feel like it’s women, it’s women of color, it’s men of color. I feel like it’s representing different sexualities. I just feel like now people are listening, people are paying attention. So now it’s the opportunity.”
The Marvel universe has faced criticism recently for not including enough LGBTQ characters or superheroes, though producers Kevin Feige and Victoria Alonso have promised they will be arriving soon. The latest “Avengers” installment, however, did break new ground with the inclusion of Grieving Man (played by co-director Joe Russo), who was seen at the very beginning telling Steve Rogers about a man he was dating. However, LGBTQ activists took the character as Marvel’s cheap attempt at diversity.
“As disappointing as [previous] missed opportunities for queer representation were, none of them stung anywhere nearly as much as the Grieving Man’s introduction inadvertently does, because his presence comes across like an inconsequential afterthought, and it doesn’t help matters that the Russos and Marvel appear to be quite pleased with the creative decision,” wrote Charles Pullman at Gizmodo.
“Spider-Man” actor Tom Holland also recently told Britain’s Sunday Times that he would be open to his character being openly gay in the future.
“I can’t talk about the future of the character because honestly I don’t know and it’s out of my hands,” Holland told the outlet. “But I do know a lot about the future of Marvel, and they are going to be representing lots of different people in the next few years.”
“The world isn’t as simple as a straight white guy,” he continued. “It doesn’t end there, and these films need to represent more than one type of person.”
Actress Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Avengers: Endgame,” said recently that her character could become the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first LGBTQ superhero.
“As new king [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen. That will be the first order of business,” said Thompson at Comic-Con.
In “Avengers: Endgame,” the character Thor declared Valkyrie the new queen of Asgard. Ever since her character appeared in “Ragnarok,” Thompson has pressed the point that Valkyrie’s sexuality swings both ways. In fact, the hit movie had a deleted LGBTQ scene in which Valkyrie was shown to be bisexual when a female lover leaves her bedroom. Thompson said the film’s director Taika Waititi wanted to keep the scene, but was forced to cut it.
“He kept it in the film as long as he could; eventually the bit had to be cut because it distracted from the scene’s vital exposition,” Thompson explained to Rolling Stone.