Disney Plus reveals Marvel character Loki is ‘gender fluid’

Marvel character Loki | Screengrab: Marvel video

Disney Plus has confirmed in a new teaser clip that the character Loki from the forthcoming Marvel series is “gender-fluid.”

A new teaser clip shows an image of Loki’s file with the character's sex listed as “FLUID,”  NME reported, noting that this is the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has confirmed Loki’s gender identity while it had been confirmed in the Marvel Comics in 2014.

The role of Loki, who is known as the god of mischief, is played by English actor Tom Hiddleston, who said in a media interview that the character needs to evolve.

“Loki needs to evolve. The cycle was: Loki is trusted, he betrays, he becomes a villain, he learns to trust again, he’s betrayed, he becomes trusting again, he can be trusted again, then he betrays or feels betrayed,” Hiddleston told IANS.

Hiddleston said that Loki is now being released from that trap in the series. “In this story, we’re showing that he can change, that he can grow. And what if the experience of that, and the journey he goes on, actually change something internal where he can potentially become someone else, or begin from a place of understanding that, if you know who you are, then who you choose to be is a different thing.”

In 2019, a major gay rights organization, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, started pushing for 20% of all television characters to be LGBT by the year 2025.

In a report called “Where We Are on TV,” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said that “less than one-quarter of Americans have a close friend or family member who is transgender,” meaning that many Americans “learn about trans people from what they see in television, movies, and news.”

Last month, Disney announced that it was rebooting “The Proud Family” animated series with new characters, including same-sex parents.

“The Proud Family,” which aired from 2001-2005 on the Disney Channel, will relaunch on Disney Plus in 2022. The entertainment company’s streaming service announced that a same-sex couple will be among the new characters introduced in the reboot.

In a statement on Twitter, Disney said: “New crew coming through to #TheProudFamily: #LouderandProuder! Meet Maya’s parents, Barry & Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins, voiced by @ZacharyQuinto & @TheeBillyPorter.”

Last year, Disney and its animation studio Pixar produced the feature film “Onward,” featuring a lesbian character as well as the short film “Out,” which became the studio’s first production to feature a gay main character. Additionally, the creator of the Disney Channel cartoon “Owl House” revealed last summer that the lead character in the series is bisexual.

Disney began introducing LGBT characters in its live-action programming several years ago. In 2017, the Disney Channel series “Andi Mack” featured a same-sex teen romance. The inclusion of a “gay moment” in the 2017 live-action Disney movie “Beauty and the Beast” led to calls for a boycott from Christian leaders.

In addition to introducing LGBT characters in its films and TV series, Disney has introduced apparel specifically designed for children celebrating the month of June, what LGBT advocates call "Pride Month." 

Other entertainment outlets previously known for producing family-friendly and children’s programming that are now promoting LGBT activism and characters include Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

The effort to integrate LGBT advocacy with popular culture, especially by appealing to children, has not gone unnoticed by religious leaders.

In a sermon delivered last month, Pastor John MacArthur cited the Disney Corporation’s creation of “characters that are transgender” as an example of the effort by the entertainment industry to “pump out things that destroy children” and “seduce children into accepting wickedness as normal.”

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