Benedict Cumberbatch Reacts Sadly To The Doctor Strange 2 Ban

By Britta DeVore | 4 weeks ago

Benedict Cumberbatch

While fans all over the world are counting down the days until the May 4 (so soon!) release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness aka Doctor Strange 2, some won’t be able to see what’s next for the Sorcerer Supreme and the other Marvel characters by his side. Countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait are banning the film over its inclusion of LGBTQ+ character, America Chavez, who will be played by Xochitl Gomez. And with fans in these countries sure to be bummed, they’re in good company. Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the time-bending Doctor Strange has spoken out about the upsetting cancellations during a press tour for the film. You can see the video below:

In what Benedict Cumberbatch is calling an “expected disappointment,” the star voiced his feelings surrounding the shutdowns. Citing their “lack of tolerance,” Cumberbatch championed the LGBTQ+ community stating that he believed they shouldn’t just be “included” in the cinematic universe, but also “celebrated” for their braveness of being their truest selves. He also spoke to the “tokenism” that typically surrounds the inclusion of gay characters reminding fans that the film didn’t create a new storyline surrounding America Chavez, but that she’s openly a lesbian in the comic books

And the fact that in the middle of a sea of straight superheroes, queer kids have a new icon to look up to is very cool. Being that she’s of a younger generation, it will only serve the community to see someone of their own age who is just like them and proud of it. It’s no secret that suicide rates for LGBTQ+ kids and teens are high and with more characters coming out reflecting that it’s okay to be gay, these youths have a better chance of living. Benedict Cumberbatch added to his statement that the character was included because of how “awesome” she is and adds that her queerness isn’t all of who she is, something that seems to take over the conversation quite a bit when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Standing up for what’s right is what Marvel is all about and something that Benedict Cumberbatch praises both the comic book franchise and Disney for. In his statement, he acknowledged the need to forge ahead and “push for inclusion,” adding that he was thrilled that both corporations were doing so. Even though both Disney and Marvel stand to lose some money over their decision, they’re likely to gain new followers due to their commitment to stand up to the bullies and fight for what’s right. And this isn’t the first time the studio has faced bigoted consequences for their characters. Last year, the Marvel film Eternals was also slapped with a ban in several countries including the same-sex couple, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and Ben (Haaz Sleiman). And guess what? Eternals was still a huge success, so nice try loser homophobes! 

We say huzzah to Marvel for not only including America Chavez in the upcoming film but for giving her such a big role. Exactly what part she’ll play when it comes to helping Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) fix his multiverse problems remains to be seen. However, we are oh so close to having all our questions answered!