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Decisions in 2021 are, in large part, based upon race. Race determines reactions from executives across corporate America, curricula inside college campuses, and whether a story is covered or ignored. In the entertainment industry, race and gender even determine how a storyline is rewritten.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige — likely a stooge — revealed to Rolling Stone that Marvel struck a deal with Benedict Cumberbatch to appear as Dr. Strange in the final episode of WandaVision, a signing that fans were asking for. Yet, late in the process, the planned appearance was written out of the show. Omitted completely. Gone.
Was Dr. Strange a poor fit? Did his appearance feel like fan service? Would it have been forced? No, no, and no. Dr. Strange was written out of the show because he is — well — a white man. Spooky.
“Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Dr. Strange,’” says Feige. “But it would have taken away from Wanda, which is what we didn’t want to do. We didn’t want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie — here’s the white guy, ‘Let me show you how power works.’”
“Here’s the white guy.”
Thank the Lord that Marvel stopped that. Who could have stood for a racist, sexist outcome of that magnitude? A white guy saving the day? Yikes, it’s 2021.
Feige, a white guy, was eager to drop this line. Instead of simply saying the show wanted Wanda to save the day — which makes sense — he felt obligated to note it was done to stick it to a white guy. A line like this ensures Feige is going nowhere. Who would dare think of replacing a white guy who supported a rewrite to prevent giving a white male character a moment?
What’s more, the last-minute rewrite exemplifies how far the entertainment industry has drifted from viewers. It’s not that viewers care if a white guy is involved in the climax of a series. They don’t, at all. They don’t care if the character is white, black, green, or in a full costume never revealing their race. Why would anyone?
Few sane viewers even think about the race of a fictional character. Critics, meanwhile, see little else. Critics, both established and verified on Twitter, are the ones directors and writers seek to please. That, as I’ve explained, is akin to how executives at sports networks operate — not for sports fans, but for media writers and disgruntled former employees.
Dr. Strange is popular, but wasn’t allowed in.
As routine as it is for Batman to save the day, a new trend has been set. DC, you are on the clock.
It’s unclear how much saving Godzilla can do these days…