COLUMN: Inclusivity in ‘Eternals’ much needed in Marvel Cinematic Universe


Destiny Blanchard, Columnist

As the result of my upbringing, I am a huge Marvel fan. My Dad used to buy my sister and I superhero comics when we were younger and we had a tradition of going to see every new Marvel movie on opening night at our favorite theater. As big of a fan I am I noticed something that many fans from marginalized communities noticed, most Marvel movies lacked diversity. As a young Black woman, of course I would notice a lack of both Black and woman characters in Marvel movies, especially the lack in leading roles and main casts. Only recently has Marvel taken steps to show more diversity in their movies.

Of the total 25 movies that encompass the Marvel Cinematic Universe, very few include leading roles and casts that don’t stray from being predominantly male and white. Only one Marvel movie is led by a Black character (“Black Panther”) and predominantly Black cast. Only one movie lead by an Asian character (“Shang Chi & the Ten Rings”) and predominantly Asian cast. Only two movies have women as leads (“Captain Marvel”, “Black Widow”). The remaining 21 movies are lead by either white men or predominately white main casts.

The newest Marvel movie being released on Nov. 5th is the “Eternals.” This movie could be considered the most diverse Marvel movie as it has main characters of different ethnic backgrounds, features an LGBT character and family, and includes a deaf superhero. Although I find this as something worth recognition, there are several people who have criticized this movie for being too “woke” and “politically correct.” These criticisms are made by fans who are used to being represented on screen that are uncomfortable seeing their favorite film franchise feature people who a different than them. Although “Eternals” has not been seen by the public, several bigoted fans have been review bombing sites such as rotten tomatoes, and IMBD with complaints due to the fact that there is LGBT representation and claim that the film’s inclusion has only been done to “tick all the Hollywood woke boxes.” I won’t disagree that Hollywood has had tendencies to only include diversity when they see it convenient, but that doesn’t mean that inclusivity is not an absolute necessity.

One of “Eternals” actors, Kumail Nanjianl, has responded to the hate simply by tweeting, “Looks like we’re upsetting the right people.” We’ve spent years watching Marvel make movies that show representation for the same people who left those hateful comments. It’s about time we’ve had Marvel movies that cater to the unrepresented.

Destiny Blanchard is a senior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]