Marvel Studios has a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks, particularly with the upcoming theatrical release for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Ahead of this film, Marvel and Funko have released their next round of Pops! to celebrate the rookie and veteran heroes joining forces in this story.
However, not all the response to these Funkos has been of the positive variety.
Xochitl Gomez is set to make her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as the Multiverse-jumping heroine America Chavez, and she has as big of a role as anybody alongside Doctor Strange and Wanda Maximoff. This made her unquestionably deserving of getting her own Funko, but upon its arrival, its appearance incited some major backlash from Marvel fans.
Specifically, the complaints pointed out that Chavez's skin was much lighter in color than her on-screen actress in Gomez, with the fan base calling Funko and its developers out for whitewashing. Thankfully, it appears that the situation has been rectified a few weeks ahead of the heroine's long-awaited debut.
Funko Pop! Changes After Fan Backlash
In early March 2022, Funko revealed its line of Pop! figures featuring characters from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This included a Funko for Xochitl Gomez's America Chavez, although the figurine's skin tone was much lighter than Gomez's natural skin color. This lead to some NSFW accusations of whitewashing on Twitter and other social media platforms.
@ahsokavanders called out Marvel for casting Gomez altogether, saying that the Funko is "basically white" due to how light the actress' skin tone is:
"marvel f--ked up the casting of america chavez so badly like her funko is basically white bc of how lightskinned the actress playing america is....it's really infuriating"
@AmazingShite held nothing back on just how much they thought the Funko was whitewashed:
"They double whitewashed America Chavez on her Funko Pop."
@contrastingpen hoped that Marvel actually looks at the backlash from this Funko, calling it "absurd" for how bad it looks:
"i hope funko gives a crumb of a f--k about the backlash theyre receiving for america chavez because this is just absurd ."
@sylvie_was_here described the image as something done by "white Encanto fanartists" instead of by real comic creators, bringing up Disney's most recent movie centered Colombian culture and characters:
"the america chavez funko looks like white encanto fanartists designed it—"
Following this backlash, Marvel & Funko adjusted America's Funko to give her the same darker skin tone that Gomez has in real life.
This Funko will be available in June, about a month after the release of Doctor Strange 2.
Doctor Strange 2 Funko Fixed for America Chavez
Over the last few years, representation has been increasingly more important for both fans and movie studios as new characters begin finding their place in the world of pop culture. This is particularly true with Marvel Studios, most recently with projects like last year's Eternals and this year's Ms. Marvel, and America Chavez finds herself in that same group of diverse newcomers.
Funko Pops! are an especially big part of fan culture for these films, meaning that buyers aren't afraid to voice their opinions if a figurine doesn't represent its character accurately. After so many complaints regarding Chavez's Funko coming with a much lighter skin tone than expected, the company answered the call and made sure that the figurine looks like a true replication of Gomez.
Now that this issue is resolved, the focus can move back to Gomez's MCU debut in what should be one of the biggest movies of the year, especially as she finds herself alongside so many powerful MCU regulars. With her powers being one of the core plot points for this movie's potential villains, fans will have their eyes on her individual story as one of the film's youngest power players.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will debut in theaters on May 6.