From the moment Steve Rogers locked eyes on Bucky Barnes in Captain America: Civil War, fans felt the heat. What followed was a string of fan art and even a spoof on the trailer that reimagined the film as a same-sex love story between the two heroes, played by Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan. More recently, social media has been a buzz with the hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend that even GLAAD has responded to it.
Speaking to the AP (via USA Today), GLAAD entertainment media strategist Megan Townsend said of the hashtag:
“It’s getting increasingly difficult to ignore that LGBT people remain almost completely shut out of Hollywood’s big-budget comic films that have dominated the box office over the past couple of years.”
Adding that the studios “really do have an opportunity,” Townsend pointed out that there’s room in the MCU “for established characters to have backstories built out that we weren’t aware of,” even though Captain America was never LGBT in the comics.
GLAAD fairly recently published their annual Hollywood report card that grades studios on well they’ve represented the LGBT in their major releases. The sad part is that not one studio scored “Good” markings. There were 126 major wide releases hitting theaters in 2015, and only 22 of them included LGBT characters. Disney proved to be one of the worst examples, earning a grade of “Failing.” GLAAD’s report specifically called out The Mouse House to be more inclusive of the community given its large reach with Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Disney’s live-action and animation divisions.
Since the report’s release, another hashtag campaign got some lift. Broadway star Idina Menzel, who voiced Elsa in Frozen and played a lesbian character in the musical and movie of Rent, responded to a Twitter hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend. “I think it’s great,” she said. “Disney’s just gotta contend with that. I’ll let them figure that out.”