Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will soon hit theaters. Not only will the magical blockbuster see the return of Doctor Strange, Wong, and Scarlet Witch, but it will also feature the debut of Xochitl Gomez's America Chavez, the latest Young Avenger to be introduced in the MCU in Phase 4.
15-year-old Marvel newcomer Xochitl Gomez will make her first appearance as America Chavez in Multiverse of Madness. The young hero's powers not only include superhuman strength, speed, and durability but also the ability to traverse the Multiverse - a talent that will prove to be a great asset to Doctor Strange and his team.
America Chavez is both a lesbian and of Latin-American origin, two character traits that will carry over to her live-action portrayal. Unfortunately, due to restrictions on releases in certain regions, Chavez's LGBTQIA+ status and mention of her "two moms" has led to Multiverse of Madness being banned in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
After being asked by Saudi Arabia to remove the 12-second scene that confirms her LGBTQIA+ identity, Disney refused and therefore left the film unable to be released in the region.
Unfortunately, Gomez has now faced social media harassment for the ban.
Doctor Strange 2 Actress Suffers Backlash Over Ban
15-year-old actress Xochitl Gomez - who will play America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness - has been bombarded with attacks on her most recent Instagram post. The completely unacceptable harassment comes days after Marvel Studios confirmed her character's LGBTQIA+ status, which has since led the movie to be banned in some regions.
Many have personally blamed Gomez for the ban, with one commenter calling her "the reason [they] can't watch the movie [at the] cinema:"
"Ur the reason I can't watch the movie on cinema."
Another called for the actress to "get out of the Marvel universe" and accused her of "[destroying] Marvel [for] so many countries:"
"Get out of the Marvel universe! You destroyed Marvel so many countries refused!"
On a similar note, one commenter shared their frustration at being unable to see the movie "because of [her] character:"
"We won't see the movie because of your character."
Meanwhile, others took their comments to a more personal level, such as one which "[wished] nothing but the worst" for her:
"I wish nothing but the worst to u."
Another comment called for God to "deprive [her] of happiness in [her] life:"
"May God deprive you of happiness in your life and your personality."
In addition to the specific messages of anger, other comments shared their general hate toward the actress with messages like "I hate you" and "f*** you."
Fortunately, the comments section of the post has since been flooded with messages from supportive fans. In a captioned selfie posted on her Instagram story, Gomez thanked those sending the positive messages, sharing how it "warms [her] heart:"
"Thank you everyone for all the supportive DMs. You all have been so kind and lovely. It warms my heart!"
Celebrity Abuse Continues Plaguing Hollywood
It's despicable to see Xochitl Gomez plagued with hate toward her due to her character's LGBTQIA+ status, which has unfortunately left many unable to see the movie due to homophobic laws in their region. Obviously, it's frustrating for many that this representation has left them unable to see the Multiverse blockbuster on release, but that is no excuse to plague the actress with horrifying comments.
Gomez is far from the first Hollywood star to suffer hatred online due to their character. Daisy Ridley departed social media amid abuse targeted at her by her Star Wars sequel trilogy hero Rey. The targeted harassment is particularly unfortunate in the case of Gomez, an actress who is not only just 15-years-old but also in the midst of her first major blockbuster acting role with Multiverse of Madness.
Marvel Studios and Disney were reportedly asked to remove a 12-second scene from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to allow it to release in Saudi Arabia. The briefness of the scene indicates America Chavez's LGBTQIA+ status will be largely insignificant to the plot but is nonetheless integral to her character.
The House of Mouse's refusal to remove the scene is a commendable stand for the Hollywood giant, even though it will undoubtedly cost the company a large chunk of revenue. Although so far only Saudi Arabia and Egypt have rejected the sequel, more are expected to follow in the week to come before release.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6.