Warning: Avengers: Endgame spoilers ahead.
By now, every man and his dog on the planet has seen Avengers: Endgame, revelling in it's excitement, emotion and overall 'epic-ness'.
While you were wrapped up in the Avengers heroic attempts to thwart Thanos and save the world, you may or may not have missed something that is being considered to be highly significant.
It was the introduction to the first openly gay character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it was literally a blink and you'll miss it moment.
During a therapy session held by Captain America, aka Steve Rogers, for survivors of Thanos's snap, which wiped out half of all life, a character played by one of the directors, Joe Russo, tells Rogers the anguish of losing his partner and going on his first date with a man since losing his loved one.
The scene lasts all of 30 seconds of a three hour movie and it's not like the character even had a name or appeared on-screen again, but according to Joe Russo it was an important representation of diversity in the movie. Speaking to Deadlinehe said:
Representation is really important. It was important to us as we did four of these films, we wanted a gay character somewhere in them.
We felt it was important that one of us play him, to ensure the integrity and show it is so important to the filmmakers that one of us is representing that.
It is a perfect time, because one of the things that is compelling about the Marvel Universe moving forward is its focus on diversity.
However, is this a good representation of diversity and for a gay character, in a movie which features hundreds of actors and is almost forgotten by the time that particular scene is over?
The backlash to this reveal has been widely condemned on social media as a completely tone-deaf moment in an otherwise enjoyable and moving film.
"After 22 films we thought an openly gay, completely anonymous character should have three full lines of dialogue."— Scott Weinberg (@Scott Weinberg) 1556398779
I love #endgame and I admire these directors but hoo boy is this a tone-deaf moment.— Scott Weinberg (@Scott Weinberg) 1556399710
endgame finishes,, the credits start to roll,, the avengers are dead,, you never saw who the gay character was supp… https://t.co/K0cOAMRq3O— andrés (@andrés) 1556058713
this is such bullshit. give us actual rep, stop doing less than the bare minimum then claiming to be an ally. https://t.co/iN7ZNHko1C— dyl (montanas mom) (@dyl (montanas mom)) 1556466180
The 3 lines spoken by a gay character in Endgame made me straight.— billy eichner (@billy eichner) 1556588933
*VERY SLIGHT AVENGERS ENDGAME SPOILER* I'm still laughing that the first openly gay person in MCU is a stranger in a grieving session— Dan the Dancer ✨ (@Dan the Dancer ✨) 1556402425
However, others felt that even though the scene was ultimately forgettable it was at least some representation.
Not a spoiler, but I think the most significant thing about Avengers Endgame was the fact that it's the first MCU f… https://t.co/cBVwsGlowF— Kristian Johns (He/Him/They) (@Kristian Johns (He/Him/They)) 1556449866
@scottEweinberg Yeah, I don't see how it's tone deaf. They thought something was important to do, and they did it.… https://t.co/GbRXikP1DZ— Billy Ray (not the Shattered Glass dude) Brewton (@Billy Ray (not the Shattered Glass dude) Brewton) 1556401426
Omg there’s a gay character in @Avengers - he’s in one scene and doesn’t have a name but still.. progress I guess? Spoiler: it’s not Thanos— Andreas Samuelson (@Andreas Samuelson) 1556024306
Victoria Alonso, a Marvel producer, has expressed her desire to see an LGBT+ superhero introduced into the MCU. She told Varietyin March.
I’m so passionate about this, I’ve got to tell you. Our entire success is based on people that are incredibly different.
Why wouldn’t we? Why would we only want to be recognised by only one type of person?
Our audience is global, is diverse, is inclusive. If we don’t do it that way for them, we will fail.