Marvel allegedly cancelled a TV series based on its New Warriors superhero team because the show was “too gay.”
The series was originally slated for cable channel Freeform, which is owned by ABC, but Gizmodo reports that it was scrapped after a homophobic executive complained.
A pilot was filmed in 2017 and ten episodes ordered, with Freeform set to premiere New Warriors in 2018. But by the end of that year, with no air date set, it was canceled, allegedly due to scheduling conflicts.
However, in a series of since-deleted tweets, showrunner Kevin Biegel — the co-creator of Cougar Town — placed the blame squarely at the feet of one Marvel executive.
“There’s a show we wrote a few years ago. It was very proudly gay,” he wrote.
“A singular power that be killed the show. Because it was too gay,” Biegel continued, branding the executive a “rich, straight Brentwood turd.”
“He got fired for being vile at his company. We, on the other hand, live. #NewWarriors.”
Biegel also shared images and footage from the New Warriors pilot shoot, including Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us) in her Squirrel Girl costume, and highlighted a script in which a character described themselves as “Black. Queer. Powered.”
“I have nights where I can’t fall asleep because I get so mad we couldn’t have characters say stuff like this,” Biegel tweeted.
Marvel has faced criticism in recent years over its lack of LGBTQ representation. Upcoming film Eternals will feature Tyree Henry’s Phastos, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first openly gay hero, and sequel Thor: Love and Thunder will show Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie as openly bisexual.
Marvel was criticized after the release of Thor: Ragnarok for reportedly editing out a scene depicting Valkyrie’s bisexuality and there was widespread backlash to “Grieving Man,” a background character in Avengers: Endgame who was the MCU’s first openly LGBTQ character.
Currently the only openly LGBTQ character in Marvel’s MCU is Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, who was confirmed to be bisexual in his Disney+ series Loki.
Hiddleston, who has portrayed Loki in the MCU since the character’s debut in 2011’s Thor, told Out that he has always taken his character’s “fluidity” into mind in his portrayal.
“I’ve known about the breadth of Loki’s identity since I was first cast as the character 10 years ago,” Hiddleston said.
Hiddleston called Loki’s fluidity “really interesting and compelling and very much a part of the fabric of the character,” and said it was “thrilling to get to touch on that this time around.”
Spider-Man star Tom Holland has supported a gay version of his web-slinging hero, saying that Marvel’s films should “represent more than one type of person.”
And Brie Larson, who currently stars as Captain Marvel, said she wants to see more LGBTQ characters and heroes.
“I don’t understand how you could think that a certain type of person isn’t allowed to be a superhero,” she told Variety in April. “So to me it’s like, we gotta move faster. But I’m always wanting to move faster with this stuff.”
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