After a successful Infinity Saga, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will open a bold new chapter in Phase 4, introducing new heroes and villains into the interconnected narrative of the franchise. Aside from the exciting MCU movies, Marvel Studios will also introduce a new avenue to tell more stories, which will be achieved through Disney+.
One of the upcoming MCU projects on Disney+ is Ms. Marvel , and it's clear that expectations are already sky-high. As expected, plot details for Ms. Marvel are still being kept under wraps, but it was already revealed that newcomer Iman Vellani will play Kamala Khan in the series.
It remains to be seen when Ms. Marvel will actually premiere on Disney+, but it's a good sign that production for the show is well underway . Given that, casting rumors have already spread like wildfire on social media. However, it seems that some of those casting additions have led to an unexpected controversy.
Ms. Marvel News, a fan-based Twitter account for the Marvel hero, shared in a statement that they are “not associated” with the upcoming Ms. Marvel Disney+ series due to the “recent controversies” of some of the show's casting choices.
The fan page then broke down the issues surrounding some cast members of Ms. Marvel . First, they revealed that Andrew Brodeur allegedly has multiple gender discrimination charges.
Andrew Brodeur, who based on his social media activity will likely be involved in the show, has had multiple Title IX allegations filed against him. https://t.co/v5Xa9AflWz
The account also pointed out the casting of Yasmeen Fletcher as Nakia Bahadir was “inappropriate” for the show because they shared that she is a “half-white Christian girl.”
Yasmeen Fletcher has not done anything as egregious, but we find it inappropriate that a half-white Christian girl was apparently cast as Nakia Bahadir.
In addition, Ms. Marvel News also deemed the casting of Zenobia Shroff as Kamala's Pakistani Muslim mother as inappropriate as well, since they mentioned the fact that the actress is a non-Muslim Indian.
Meanwhile, Ms. Marvel News also claimed that Matt Lintz, who is rumored to play Bruno Carelli in the MCU series, is a Trump supporter.
In light of the recent allegations towards the cast members, Lintz was the first one who shared an official statement regarding the matter. In a tweet, the actor strongly claimed that he is “not a Trump supporter." The actor also revealed that he tried to stay out of political situations, but he ultimately felt that he needed to voice his sentiments regarding the matter, due to the growing negative comments against him.
The full statement can be seen below:
As a result, the hashtag, #FixMsMarvel, started trending on Twitter, urging Marvel Studios to review the aforementioned casting choices.
Marvel Studios is best known to have a good track record in terms of casting characters in their projects, but this recent controversy is no doubt a major setback. Despite that, it's worth pointing out that the aforementioned casting additions above are not yet confirmed by Marvel Studios, but it's clear that the allegations already inspired discussion among fans.
The topic surrounding representation in Hollywood is one of the ongoing issues in the industry, but this was further amplified in recent months for a number of reasons, which include Ray Fisher's continued criticism of Joss Whedon's handling of Justice League and John Boyega's issue with Finn's character arc in the sequel trilogy of the Skywalker Saga. As a result, Warner Bros. and Lucasfilm addressed their own issues respectively, but it's clear that the overarching narrative surrounding representation has yet to be resolved in the industry.
And now, this controversy surrounding several cast members of Ms. Marvel adds to that list, but it remains to be seen if Marvel Studios will openly address this issue. Given that Kamala Khan will be the first Pakistani MCU hero, the proper sense of representation is important more than ever, and it's understandable that fans are voicing out their concerns about the non-ideal type of casting from Marvel Studios.
Interestingly, this isn't the first time that Marvel Studios received backlash regarding their lack of diversity. Last June, Falcon star Anthony Mackie opened up about this issue by candidly saying that Marvel needs to “hire the best person for the job. Even if it means we're going to get the best two women, we're going to get the best two men.”
Meanwhile, Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder , also chimed in on the issue but with a more hopeful stance. Thompson revealed in an interview that the next phase of movies will double down on “what representation looks like in those spaces.” Clearly, this should mean well for the future of the MCU, but this recent controversy surrounding Ms. Marvel could potentially cast some doubt regarding that matter.
All in all, it's clear that the impact of the MCU transcends beyond the big screen, and it's important for them to realize that a single casting decision will have a direct effect on the narrative that they are trying to portray in their projects. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved sooner rather than later.