Birds of Prey will reportedly become the first superhero movie to feature a prominent gay character.
According to We Got This Covered – an extension of entertainment site Rotten Tomatoes – the upcoming villain of the movie, Black Mask, will be portrayed as homosexual and have undeniable sexual tension with fellow villain Victor Zsasz.
Black Mask will be played by Golden Globe winning Scottish actor Ewan McGregor. The film will see the villain face off against Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
News of Black Mask’s alleged sexuality was met with mostly a positive reception from queer fans due to the lack of representation for the LGBTQ community in the superhero genre.
“Black Mask being gay is a great step forward in LGBTQ+ representation in comicbook films,” said one fan. I’m so excited for Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. This will be a fabulous big hit for Margot Robbie.”
Another wrote: “Usually this kind of stuff irritates me but knowing who’s playing the character and how the character is normally portrayed is actually making me happy. I can’t wait to see a gay Black Mask.”
However, some reports state that Black Mask will be a stereotypical “flamboyant” gay man, which was – of course – met with uproar from some fans who slammed DC for including a queer character for “pure shock value”.
“Black Mask sounds like a caricature in the worst way that will only drive down the box office,” a fan tweeted.
Read reactions from fans on Twitter below.
100% support a gay black mask
100% do not support him being offensive flamboyant stereotype https://t.co/759bPB0voY
— Ashley💖|TheBatFamily 🦇 (@TheBat_Family) July 9, 2019
It sounds like a flamboyant portrayal of a gay character for pure shock value; that should offend anyone wanting a well developed film with fully flushed out characters. #BlackMask sounds like a caricature in the worst way that will only drive down the box office.
— Missionary_J (@moviemanj) July 9, 2019
Having Black Mask as a gay character isn't pandering to the LGBT community though. I'm pretty sure taking a heroic straight male character and retooling him as gay would be, but we'll see if a future DCEU movie does that. #BirdsOfPrey
— 🏳️🌈Shawn🌈 Lunn🏳️🌈 (@shawnlunn2002) July 10, 2019
I don’t care if he’s gay tbh…all I want is a great villain and that he has a black mask attached to his face https://t.co/6A0fcneIQX
— Batsy’s Luci | Proud Wolfpack | BLM (@BrownBatsy) July 10, 2019
Who cares if Black Mask is gay? That's dope. Make that shit canon.
— Jesse (@suplexinferno) July 10, 2019
Black Mask being a gay character in #BirdsOfPrey is a good thing.
His SEXUALITY hasn't been explicity mentioned in the comics so if the director wants to make this take, i'm totally okay with it.
Plus the leaked "Spoilers" made me more excited for the film pic.twitter.com/XM7vLopb4l
— 𝐌𝐀𝐑𝐊 (@MarkOnFilm) July 10, 2019
So Black Mask is a flamboyantly gay stereotype who is looking for Dick pics hidden away in a diamond. I was interested in this movie @wbpictures I thought you weren't fucking up shit anymore? What the fuck is this? Time for a mostly reboot. pic.twitter.com/zjZ2X8jcos
— Edward West-Summers (Stay Strong X-Men) (@EdwardWestSumm1) July 9, 2019
how the fuck is black mask going to be “flamboyantly gay” what goes on ?!
— hilda (@Iavagirl) July 9, 2019
— Zachary Osterman (He/Him) (@ZacharyOsterman) July 9, 2019
Birds of Prey is gonna have lesbian icon Renee Montoya, explore Harley’s bisexuality, AND make Black Mask a gay icon? We have to stan https://t.co/6OtBT2s75p
— Col AGATHA HARKNESS STAN ACC (@AgathasTheme) July 8, 2019
Birds of Prey will also star Ella Jay Basco (Cassandra Cain), Rosie Perez (Renee Montoya), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Vixen), Karen Fukuhara (Katana), Josh Gad (The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot) and Chris Messina (Victor Zsasz).
The highly-anticipated blockbuster is scheduled to be released in the United States on February 7, 2020.
Watch the first teaser trailer below.