Marvel Comics had a rough year. Sales have been declining since October.
David Gabriel, Marvel's vice president of sales, blamed those numbers on Marvel's efforts to feature more diversity and female characters, The Guardian reported.
Gabriel told geek news site ICv2 fans were "turning their noses up" at diversity and "didn't want female characters out there." Recently, Marvel unveiled a black female Iron Man replacement named Ironheart, a biracial Spdier-Man and a Muslim Ms. Marvel.
What we heard was that people didn't want any more diversity. They didn't want female characters out there ... I don't know that's really true.
Gabriel later clarified, saying that some retailers thought core Marvel heroes like Tony Stark as Iron Man were being abandoned, but the new, diverse cast also had dedicated fans. He insisted the new cast was "not going anywhere."
But fans bashed Marvel for what they saw as an intolerant response.
I love how Marvel thinks people are tired of "diversity".— Alisha Rai (@AlishaRai) April 1, 2017
NO I AM TIRED OF WATCHING UNCLE BEN DIE 373929463 TIMES.
Others bashed the tendency to reuse plotlines.
Marvel thinks diversity is ruining their sales? Idk, MAYBE turning Captain America, a worldwide symbol, into a nazi has something to do— manu (@athelstcn) April 2, 2017
Still others pointed to a controversial decision involving Captain America.
Marvel: captain america is a nazi— def •ᴥ• (@helmetwings) April 1, 2017
Fans: we don't want this
Marvel: crossover event abt captain nazi
Marvel: u hate diversity
The iconic superhero was revealed to be a Nazi traitor in a 2016 issue.
Marvel Translator: We tried to use "Diversity" as a sales gimmick we weren't actually invested in at all. It failed because we never cared.— Taneka Stotts (@neekaneeks) April 1, 2017
Some accused Marvel of being too focused on the money.
Diversity as a form of performative guilt doesn't work.
The writer of the new Ms. Marvel series featuring Muslim teen Kamala Khan bashed Gabriel's remarks.
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