Russell T. Davies has called out Disney and Marvel for the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in the new Loki series.
During an appearance on the virtual Pride Month panel at Swansea University, Davies opened up about LGBTQ+ representation in media.
While admitting there have been more queer stories in television, he did state that big streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix have more work to do.
“Nonetheless, I think huge, cleaning warning bells are ringing as the giants rise up with Netflix and Disney Plus especially,” Davies explained.
He then pinpointed the popular Marvel series Loki and the character’s infamous coming out scene.
“I think that’s a very great worry. Loki makes one reference to being bisexual once, and everyone’s like, ‘Oh my god, it’s like a pansexual show,'” he said.
“It’s like one word. He said the word ‘prince’, and we’re meant to go, ‘Thank you, Disney! Aren’t you marvellous?’ It’s a ridiculous, craven, feeble gesture towards the vital politics and the stories that should be told.”
In the third episode of Loki, the title character opens up about his past relationships with Loki variant Sylvie and admits he’s been romantically involved with both ‘princesses and princes’ – reflecting the character’s fluid sexuality from the comics.
Although Davies has expressed hesitation towards the coming out scene, many have praised the tiny moment as a breath of fresh air.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the director of Loki, Kate Herron, said the moment was “very important to everyone” and it was “beautiful” for her to be involved with due to her own bisexuality.
“I didn’t want it to feel like we were just wedging something in, but we had this beautiful scene where these two characters are being really raw and really honest about who they are, and I was like, “Well, it is a part of who he is and who they are.” For me, talking with Michael [Waldron] and Bisha [K. Ali], it just felt like it was the right moment for that line,” she explained.
“This episode is really beautiful for me, because it’s these two characters getting to know each other, so in that sense, it felt like the right place for that conversation to happen. And I thought it was done really beautifully by the writers.
“Obviously, like I’ve said, it’s very personal to me, and I said it was a small step in some ways — because obviously, he’s just talking about it — but in the bigger scale of things, I’m like, oh no, it’s massive actually. If I saw that when I was 10, it would be really big for me. It’s been really nice getting comments from people online.”
The entire first season is now available to stream on Disney Plus.