The image above was created from gathering all of the significant named characters from released Marvel Studios movies as documented on the Marvel Movies wikia.
It’s pretty sad. As you can see, only 22% of the characters are women and half of them are love interests. There are over twice as many supporting characters who are men than women (and none of them function as love interests like the women do.) 84% of the characters are white.
60% of the characters are white men, including all the main characters
77%of the characters are men
76% of the men are white
81% of the characters (both genders) are white
All of the women are white
Allof the characters of color are men
None of the characters are women of color
Out of all the films, Thor probably does the best in introducing diverse side characters. Natalie Portman and Kat Denning’s characters pass the Bechdel test within the first five minutes, and some of the Asgardians are played by people of color including Idris Elba’s Heimdall and Tabano Asano’s Hogun. Four white women characters are introduced instead of the other films’ average of one or two. But even then, there’s no question that the main characters of the film are Thor and his brother Loki.
Marvel is working off of decades of existing properties that for years solely focused on white men and a the demographic market of white men. So it makes sense that many of the films would have an abundance of white male characters. Beyond ratios, what doesn’t make sense is that even in the comics there is also an abundance of characters of color, etc. that they are ignoring or underutilizing. There are already five completed films where the titular character is a white man, with more to come. There are no films in the works where the titular character is a person of color or a woman.
Women made up at least 40% of the audience of The Avengers, yet only one out of the six Avengers–Black Widow–was a woman. Women also made up 40% of attendees at this year’s ComicCon. Why, given the scarcity of female heroic leads in the existing Marvel films, did Marvel choose to announce the addition of several more male characters but only one new female character?
Read the full article at Racebending.com: On Marvel, Mandarin, and Marginalization
Can I ask a quastion? I just checked the racial composition of the american population for comparison and that can (if I’m reading the table correctly) be summed up as: 72% white, 16% hispanic, 12% black, 5% asian, 6% somethin else (klingon, I suppose 😛 ) -> I know this sums up to more than 100%, I don’t know why, I’m confused as it is.
So, I don’t entirely see the issue with mainly white characters as most of the population are white people. I am aware of the gender-problem, apart from the fact that as a kid I never ever cared about the gender of my heroes, and I am aware that it sucks that all people of colour are support characters.
And concerning Thor: In the traditional nordic mythology Heimdall has the name of being “the whitest/brightest of all the gods”, so following that description in terms of colour-scheme alone, idris Elba is not the obvious choice. Going with the “bright” in terms of wisdom and cleverness, he’s pretty cool 🙂 (luv’ him!)
apart from that: Explanation please? I’m interested in a discussion on the topic.
(Help, I’m opening a can of worms here XD)
I’m not going to touch the rest of it since I think feministdisney already eloquently explained why statistics shouldn’t matter, and I don’t know much about Norse mythology, but the reason the percentages don’t add up to 100% is because there are people like me who have to check multiple boxes either because they’re mixed or because they are white hispanics. Also the other 6% is probably Native Americans? Who rarely get their own box, olol. Or people like me when we’re not allowed to pick multiple options and there’s an other ticky.
Though even if statistics did matter, the breakdown for, oh say, California where a lot of TV/film media gets produced is (cited from Wikipedia):
According to 2010 US Census California’s population was 39.7% Non-Hispanic White, 6.6% Black or African American, 13.6% Asian, 1.0% American Indian, 0.4% Pacific Islander and 3.6% from two or more races. 38.1% of the total population are Hispanics or Latinos of any race.
So you’d really think they would have more Hispanics at the very least then, since they’re almost equal to the Non-Hispanic Whites in population for the area (and thus should be able to be at casting calls more often compared to where I live). But Hispanics and Latinos are even less often cast for major roles than Black or Asian from what I know, so that kind of throws that idea out.