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Disney Fears “Woke” Label, Reportedly Cuts LGBTQ+ Storyline from Latest Blockbuster

Captain Marvel lesbian
Credit: Disney; Canva

The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios have reportedly stepped back and shoved a same-sex storyline from their latest blockbuster into the closet.

Disney has been wrestling with anti-LGBTQ+ groups and conservatives over its alleged “woke” ideologies for several years at this point. The new controversy surrounding Disney and Marvel Studios has come from a reported decision to omit an LGBTQ+ storyline from their latest film, The Marvels (2023).

the marvels new trailer brie larson captain marvel carol danvers teyonah parris monica rambeau kamala Khan ms marvel iman vellani november 10th marvel studios

Credit: Marvel Studios, Disney

Captain Marvel is a Lesbian?

This has reignited debates about the entertainment industry’s approach to inclusion and representation. The initial plan allegedly involved a scene between Valkyrie, the King of New Asgard, and Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), where they discuss their relationship dynamics, suggesting a romantic involvement in the past.

According to The Pink News, this storyline was noticeably absent from the final cut, sparking speculation and disappointment among fans and advocates of LGBTQ+ representation. At one point, the two were supposed to discuss the fact that they “work better as friends.”

Captain Marvel and Valkyrie were explicitly together in the past (cut quote: “we work better as friends”) but Disney are cowards.

Iger Promises Disney Will “Quiet the Noise” on the Culture War

This development comes against the backdrop of Disney’s broader struggle to balance social and political considerations with its commitment to entertaining a diverse global audience.

Under the leadership of returning CEO Bob Iger, the company has faced criticism from both sides of the ideological spectrum. On the one hand, conservative voices, exemplified by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have accused Disney of promoting a progressive social agenda and even alleged the company’s involvement in child grooming.

Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Teyonah Parris in The Marvels

Credit: Marvel Studios

In response to these controversies, Iger has made public statements emphasizing a desire to steer clear of culture wars and refocus on the core mission of entertaining audiences. This may be the first example of his statements in motion.

In an interview with MSNBC, Iger expressed a reluctance to embroil the company in divisive debates, particularly in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”

This sentiment was reiterated during an annual shareholder meeting where Iger emphasized the need for Disney’s primary mission to be entertainment rather than advancing specific agendas.

Bob Chapek Bob Iger Don't Say Gay Disney go woke go broke

Credit: Disney

A Concerning Trend

The decision to exclude the LGBTQ+ storyline from The Marvels aligns with this corporate stance. Critics argue that Disney’s move reflects a hesitancy to engage in potentially divisive content that might alienate certain audience segments.

The studio’s past experiences with films like Lightyear (2022) and Strange World (2022), which faced backlash and financial challenges due to their inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters and themes, likely influenced this decision.

strange world disney 2022 ethan diazo gay couple lgbtq

Disney

The underperformance of Strange World specifically triggered accusations of Disney pushing a “woke” agenda, highlighting the delicate balancing act studios must navigate in today’s socially conscious environment.

The exclusion of the LGBTQ+ storyline from The Marvels raises questions about whether studios sacrifice diverse representation to avoid controversy. It underscores the ongoing challenge entertainment giants like Disney face in finding the right balance between artistic expression and audience reception, especially in an era where social consciousness plays a pivotal role in shaping public discourse.

As Iger stresses that Disney will “quiet the noise” in the culture wars, the decision to backtrack on the LGBTQ+ storyline in The Marvels is hard to ignore as a simple coincidence. Whether we will continue to see backtracks or cuts like this remains to be seen.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a goofball with an entertainment background and a passion for writing. He has a long history of being a Disney fan and is still a lost boy at heart. In his free time, he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He is also unnaturally obsessed with pugs and spends a lot of time with his dog Mr. Pippers the Pug.