Article By: Leela H.
Edited By: Norbu D.
Visual By: Erica N.
Since the announcement of the Captain Marvel movie back in mid-2018, there has been a widespread backlash against the female lead superhero movie and Brie Larson – the “controversial” actress who plays the eponymous female lead.
Larson is a well known progressive and an outspoken member of the “#MeToo” movement, all of which has made her quite unpopular among many of the more conservative Marvel fans. They started the now trending hashtag, “#boycottcaptainmarvel” which trended in the weeks following the announcement of the movie and its subsequent release. Unfortunately, due to the political choices and pro-feminist beliefs of the actress, hatred towards both Brie Larson and Captain Marvel has only continued to increase over time, and seems to have peaked due to the characters appearance or rather lack thereof in Avengers: Endgame, the box office hit that premiered last month. Endgame is a movie where Captain Marvel appears for a very limited time frame, despite being the big reveal at the end of the previous Avengers movie. One Marvel fan, a sophomore student here at ISM, Catherine S. says, “I hate captain marvel! So unnecessary and so irrelevant to the movie! I don’t want to see her ever again!”
In fact, the character is so disliked that, last week, some extreme “fans” created a new rendition of the movie, Avengers Endgame De-Feminized – one where there is “absolutely no role for Brie Larson” and “no feminism” (Waters). This warrants the questions: Does she deserve the immense hate she has received? What does this mean for the future of female lead superhero movies?
As both a Marvel fan and liberal myself, I say no; she does not deserve the treatment she has received. While I do not care about/for Brie Larson, the character she plays, or even her movie, one cannot dismiss the social importance and economic value that Captain Marvel brought to the table. Not only was the movie a social landmark, being the first stand-alone female lead Marvel movie, the movie was also a box office hit that brought in over a billion dollars worldwide, marking the eighth highest grossing movie of all time.
In addition, while a large number of fan reviews may not have been encouraging, with a 56% audience approval rate taken from over 88,000 responses, film critics have given the movie a whopping 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. Proving that there are economic and social incentives for Marvel Studios to create more female lead movies like Captain Marvel. Marvel also indicated that they will be proceeding full steam ahead with movies with female protagonists, and that in the future there will likely be a greater role for Captain Marvel along with others such as Black Widow. The series of female lead movies starting with the new Black Widow movie that will kick off the year of 2020.
However, since Marvel itself is moving forward and many fans still disagree with this movement, the actions of fans need to be addressed. While Captain Marvel does, in fact, seem to be the most hated avenger, everyone should set aside their grievances with both her and the actress. Regardless of whether that grievance is political, personal, or otherwise, it is important to treat Larson as a human being, who, like anyone else, deserves our respect.
Waters, Lowenna. “People Are Illegally Downloading a Version of Avengers: Endgame without ‘All the Feminism and Gay Stuff’.” indy100, indy100, 17 May 2019, www.indy100.com/article/avengers-endgame-movie-download-torrent-mcu-lgbt-sexism-8916101.