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Kit Harrington Wants Gayer Marvel Movies, and He’s Right

Over the past few weeks, anyone tuned into comic book fandom has probably seen a flurry of activity on social media as some fans have been expressing how very angry they are at Marvel Comics for daring to give the slightest acknowledgement that people other than straight white men exist. It’s really dumb and if you value your time, I recommend against looking into it. But it is interesting, because while Marvel has been very eager to use diversity as a marketing tool for some really mediocre stuff, they haven’t actually been all that diverse at all.

Kit Harington noticed this, and he brought it up in an interview with Variety:

“There’s a big problem with masculinity and homosexuality that they can’t somehow go hand in hand,” Harington said. “That we can’t have someone in a Marvel movie who’s gay in real life and plays some super hero. I mean, when is that going to happen?”

Marvel has been very skittish around any sort of LGBT representation in their films. They keep filming scenes where character express non-heterosexual leanings in various ways and then leaving them on the editing room floor. Much like J.K. Rowling, Marvel is happy to tell us that characters are gay, lesbian or bisexual when they’re promoting a movie, but they’re reluctant to actually let them show it on the big screen.

You don’t get points for imagined diversity. You don’t get to say “Oh, there are plenty of Jewish students at Hogwarts, they just weren’t major characters in the story” and then pat yourself on the back for doing such a good job of representing Jewish people in your books. I mean, Rowling did represent Jewish people in the Harry Potter books, just as an insanely outdated anti-Semitic stereotype of literal goblin bankers.

If Marvel wants to be the champions of diversity they claim to be when advertising themselves, then they need to actually be diverse. I know they’re scared of losing money at the Chinese box office, but you don’t get to be a beacon of progressive values if you put money ahead of your principles; if you do that, they aren’t principles, they’re just a marketing tactic.

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