Woke, Broke and No Lessons Learned: Disney/Marvel Director Reveals Future Plans of MCU

Few companies have better exemplified the “go woke, go broke” mantra that has become a part of the 21st-century lexicon than the Walt Disney Company. Given how far and wide Disney’s tendrils reach, it should be of little surprise that the company’s grander “woke” principles are seeping into all of the properties it owns — including ESPN and Pixar. As “The House of Mouse” is painfully learning, wokeism is not capitalism, and Disney has been hemorrhaging money of late. It’s been bad enough that the former CEO was unceremoniously ousted less than a year after signing an extension. But surely Disney’s Marvel, the ostensible golden goose of Disney’s various properties, could buck this woke trend and keep printing money for them, no? Well, not quite. Marvel casting director Sarah Finn, who has been around long enough to have cast Chris Hemsworth as Thor, made it clear that the massive studio would be aiming for “more representation, more diversity” in its casting calls — but don’t call it an edict! Finn, who told TheWrap that Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige emphatically did not give her a mandate (it “wasn’t, from my experience, a proclamation”), also told the entertainment outlet that this move toward a more representative and more diverse cast “really fueled” her. “I will say that after ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ (the capstone film of the first 21 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, referred to as “The Infinity Saga”) it was one of the things that really fueled me,” Finn told TheWrap. “You know, there’s that moment of ‘Wait, where do we go from here?’ After ‘Endgame,’ it felt so final. And then of course, that impulse is we go with more representation, more diversity, we go younger, there’s a whole fresh wave to explore here. And for me personally, that’s really given me tremendous energy to kind of move forward.” And if there was any doubt that Finn is focused on “diversity,” look no further than what she is “personally” hoping for: “I hope, personally, that they will connect with a more diverse audience, they will connect with a younger audience, they will bring in new fans, and they will reinvigorate our existing fans with new stories and new perspectives and new energy,” Finn said. “But I really hope that all of these new voices that we’re going to be hearing in the MCU give inspiration and a feeling of empowerment to all the viewers.” Finn’s beliefs hardly stop at her. In the same feature by The Wrap, “Dr. Strange” star Xochitl Gomez lamented the racism that apparently comes with being a famous person. “And it’s just so much worse for brown people. Because there’s layers of racism, and it’s just, it’s tough,” Gomez told TheWrap about some of the hatred she says she has received for her portrayal of America Chavez in the MCU. Well, here is the unfortunate truth for the pro-diversity MCU crowd: It’s not working. Not only have fans already spoken with their wallets, fans have spoken out in general that the MCU has already peaked, and that its best days are behind it. That’s a brutal message to receive, but it’s borne out to be painfully true at the box office. As Insider has shown, Marvel has been unable to reach its prior, staggering highs at the box office in its most recent batch of movies. Since “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (the nominal “final” movie of the Infinity Saga) debuted in 2019, not a single Marvel movie has come close to hitting the $1.13 billion worldwide box office receipt of “Far From Home.” The closest would be “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which brought in $955.8 million. The next highest-grossing movie released after “Far From Home” is “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which brought home $760.9 million. The newest Black Panther movie garnered a modest $546.3 million, while both “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Eternals,” and “Black Widow” all failed to eclipse even $500 million. All of those box office figures are a far cry from Marvel’s arguable “peak,” when movies like the aforementioned “Avengers: Endgame” made $2.8 billion worldwide. This is all to say: Finn, Feige and the rest of the Marvel top brass may want to re-evaluate this whole push for “diversity” and “representation.” Because the uncomfortable truth that nobody on Team Disney seems ready to admit is that diversity for diversity’s sake isn’t a selling point. Well-written characters (with years of characterization based on comic books), amazing action scenes and fun Easter eggs are what people tune into Marvel movies and shows for. They don’t tune in to watch Spider-Man and Thanos debate the merits of increasing representation in the workforce. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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