Marvel president Kevin Feige has addressed backlash from LGBT+ fans over the introduction of their first openly gay character in Avengers: Endgame. The character—who was simply credited as Grieving Man and was played by the film’s co-director Joe Russo—caused controversy among some LGBT+ fans who criticised the studio for the quick, throwaway moment.
The character appears in a grief support group and mentions to Chris Evans’ character Steve Rogers that he is dating a man.
Speaking to io9, Feige said that Grieving Man was never intended as the first “focused” LGBT+ character in the MCU. “That was just meant to be a matter of fact and a matter of life and a matter of truth,” Feige said.
“I liked it that our hero, Steve Rogers, doesn’t blink an eye at that fact. It is just truth and is heartbreaking for his loss and for the life he’s trying to put back together. It was never meant to be looked at as our first hero. “It guess it’s the first reference so it does, of course, get a lot of attention.”