She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has had a rough start to its debut for the public. Its very first trailer garnered some mixed responses, to say the least, as people pointed out what some called subpar CGI for the series. This caused many to become a little hesitant regarding what to expect when the show debuts in a few days.
But one has to ask: how much of that backlash was honest? And how much of it was fueled by a sexist crowd? It’s never any fun to talk about, but sadly those kinds of people do exist, especially in the pop culture arena. To make matters worse, they are often some of the loudest voices heard in public conversation.
When the show starts to air, should fans start bracing themselves for some of that toxic backlash? Well, Tatiana Maslany has shared her thoughts on reception from those types of voices and how she feels about the ever-changing landscape when it comes to being a woman superhero.
She-Hulk Talks Potential Backlash
During a press conference for She-Hulk, star Tatiana Maslany talked about how she’s excited to see how some audiences will react to what they have in store—particularly any sexist online backlash that they may get.
Maslany is certainly expecting “a real visceral response” and that she is “so excited for people to see that:”
“Yeah, I also feel like I’m curious about what kind of conversations people will have about this show and with each other, depending on I think people, you know, can have a real visceral response to like a woman superhero, which we’ve already felt, you know, online? And it’s interesting to me that there is such a visceral response. And I’m curious about the question around why, you know? And I think, you know, all of the feelings that we have watching a show like this, whether it’s like, you know, laughter or all of that, there is so much else going on that challenges people and that I think we really like hit in a really wonderful way near the end, especially, of the season. I’m so excited for people to see that.”
In a separate interview with The Guardian, Maslany mentioned how she is looking forward to the day when a woman superhero is no big deal to the general audience:
“I’m really interested in when these [marginalized] voices get to speak without it being like: ‘Oh my God, it’s all women,’ or, ‘Oh my God, this is a story about a queer couple,’ and those stories become as innately expected as they are now special.”
She continued, noting how she felt the ‘strong female lead’ label was “reductive” and that the phrasing indicates that “it’s as if we’re supposed to be grateful that we get to be that:”
“Because [the label of ‘strong female lead’ is] reductive. It’s just as much a shaving off of all the nuances and just as much of a trope. It’s a box that nobody fits into. Even the phrase is frustrating. It’s as if we’re supposed to be grateful that we get to be that.”
In an interview with Hindustan Times, She-Hulk director Kat Coiro shared how she believes “we are at a point in our culture where we are seeing a shift in representation in gender:”
“… comic books historically are a male art form. We are at a point in our culture where we are seeing a shift in representation in gender, ethnicity, and that’s always an adjustment period for people. But I think the show is entertaining enough and has so many great qualities to it that it’s going to draw everybody in--men, women, the whole world.”
She-Hulk’s Here to Stay
Sure, the sexist voices out there are going to try to bring down the series—but there are also countless other genuine fans across the board who will help push that toxicity away.
Hopefully, whatever issues the show may or may not have will be able to come from authentic voices and be discussed respectfully—maybe review-bombing can even be avoided.
Even if the Disney+ series isn’t received well, Tatiana Maslany’s She-Hulk will be here to stay. She’ll become a staple MCU character no matter what happens, and the world will be all the better for it—she’s an incredible actress, one that elevates any material she touches.
For those who may be upset by all the female voices finding their footing in the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, well, tough luck; it might be best to hop off the train now. With big-name characters like Kamala Khan, Kate Bishop, Yelena Belova, and Riri Williams, the MCU is only becoming a better place with them involved.
She-Hulk will hit Disney+ on Thursday, August 18.