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Usually with Marvel movies, we’ve been getting one big success story after another. Lately, however, the news has tended to lean toward the negative side. Worse yet, some fans think the backslide is originating from the very top. 

Many fans cheered when Marvel announced it would include a trans character in one of their upcoming movies. However, Disney walked back that announcement, saying that character would not appear for a while.

Now some people are frustrated and accusing Kevin Feige of not telling the truth.

Kevin Feige on the red carpet
Kevin Feige | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for HFA

Will Marvel or won’t Marvel include a trans character?

This all started when Marvel president Kevin Feige spoke at the New York Film Academy and, per IndieWire, was asked if future Marvel films would include any LGBT characters soon. Feige responded “Feige responded, “Yes — absolutely, yes. And very soon. In a movie that we’re shooting right now.” That seemed to indicate The Eternals, which is due out in November. 

However, it turned out Feige’s answer was misinterpreted. He apparently was referring only to the gay and lesbian part, not the trans part. Some fans were not amused when discussing the issue on Reddit. One accused the company of kowtowing to foreign markets, which sometimes censor LGBT moments: 

“People will eventually get tired of Marvel’s queerbaiting. I’m LGBT too but I have no hopes of any of this happening because 1.) Disney money 2.) China money 3.) Marvel fanboys money.”

Other fans pointed out that Eternals will at least have a gay character. At the same time, fans have good cause to be skeptical because Disney has been skittish with representation issues in all its major properties: its own movies, Marvel and Star Wars.

Disney’s questionable LGBT track record

Disney made headlines in 2017 when they revealed that the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast would include a gay character: LeFou, played by Josh Gad. However, fans were disappointed in the final scene, which featured only a quick shot of LeFou dancing with another man. This was considered much ado about not much.

 Disney did something similar with The Rise of Skywalker, with some outlets reporting an “historic first gay kis,” but that was another blink-and-you miss-it moment, with the kiss happening on the margins of a scene between minor characters. Disney was accused of paying “lip service” to the issue. 

Some fans have said that Captain Marvel strongly hints at a lesbian relationship between the title character and Maria Rambeau, but hints is as far as it got. Tessa Thompson got cheers at Comic-Con last year when she said Valkyrie was looking for “her queen,” but a scene referencing this had been cut from Thor: Ragnarok. 

Disney and Marvel have taken a few hits lately

This “lie” about a trans character comes amid a wave of negative headlines about Disney movies and shows. The “Release the JJ Cut” story has been a blight on The Rise of Skywalker. The showrunner of the Lizzie McGuire reboot with Hilary Duff split from that project.

Marvel also announced that it needed a new director for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with Scott Derrickson departing amid “creative differences.” 

This too shall pass. Perhaps it’s a course correction in the face of Disney’s record-shattering success, with the studio having seven of the top 10 hits of 2019, and with those movies grossing $10 billion, an achievement that is unprecedented.

Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben famously stated that “with great power comes great responsibility” — and many in the LGBT community would argue that Disney not living up to the latter part.