The image above was created from gathering all of the significant named characters from released Marvel Studios movies as documented on the Marvel Movies wikia.
It’s pretty sad. As you can see, only 22% of the characters are women and half of them are love interests. There are over twice as many supporting characters who are men than women (and none of them function as love interests like the women do.) 84% of the characters are white.
60% of the characters are white men, including all the main characters
77%of the characters are men
76% of the men are white
81% of the characters (both genders) are white
All of the women are white
Allof the characters of color are men
None of the characters are women of color
Out of all the films, Thor probably does the best in introducing diverse side characters. Natalie Portman and Kat Denning’s characters pass the Bechdel test within the first five minutes, and some of the Asgardians are played by people of color including Idris Elba’s Heimdall and Tabano Asano’s Hogun. Four white women characters are introduced instead of the other films’ average of one or two. But even then, there’s no question that the main characters of the film are Thor and his brother Loki.
Marvel is working off of decades of existing properties that for years solely focused on white men and a the demographic market of white men. So it makes sense that many of the films would have an abundance of white male characters. Beyond ratios, what doesn’t make sense is that even in the comics there is also an abundance of characters of color, etc. that they are ignoring or underutilizing. There are already five completed films where the titular character is a white man, with more to come. There are no films in the works where the titular character is a person of color or a woman.
Marvel is working off of decades of existing properties that for years solely focused on white men and a the demographic market of white men. So it makes sense that many of the films would have an abundance of white male characters.
Because it takes away the fact Marvel DOES have characters of color. They DO have women heroes. THEY ARE DELIBERATELY CHOOSING WHICH CHARACTERS ARE MAKING IT TO THE SCREEN AND WHICH ARE NOT AND I DO NOT LIKE PRETENDING THEY SOMEHOW ARE ONLY DOING THIS BECAUSE THEY LACK OTHER CHARACTERS TO FILM.
So no, Do not pretend Marvel is ANYTHING but fully responsible, at present, for this state of things. They have characters they could have used. They chose to use these instead. Do not absolve them of their responsibility at present. They could have created a diverse movie universe. They chose not to. They think CGI trees and raccoons are more worthy of making it to movie screens than characters of color or women or *gasp* women of color. This is just a fact.
Amen! TBH I only put this sentence in because I knew in response to this article a bunch of primarily white male Marvel fans would try and mansplain that these characters are from decades ago or whatever. Essentially, it was put there to preemptively stave off people who used that excuse, not to validate Marvel’s decisions. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and most of the emails and comments I have received are all just “Well don’t you know Marvel’s characters are really old and designed for men…” “you are asking for a quota” and other similar stuff from people who clearly did not read the full article. I guess it’s easier to come with excuses to defend it than it is to critique it.