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Kit Harington wonders when someone 'gay in real life' will play a Marvel superhero

Contributed by
Sep 10, 2018

While promoting the film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan at the Toronto International Film Festival, Game of Thrones star Kit Harington recently broached the topic of masculinity in Hollywood films— particularly how it intersects with homosexuality. 

In an interview with Variety, the actor behind Jon Snow (alongside the film's director Xavier Dolan and his co-stars, Westworld's Thandie Newton and 12 Monkeys' Emily Hampshire) said, “There’s a big problem with masculinity and homosexuality that they can’t somehow go hand in hand. That we can’t have someone in a Marvel movie who’s gay in real life and plays some superhero. I mean, when is that going to happen?”

Newton responded to his question by pointing out positive changes in the realm of sports, saying, “It is changing, but we have to get behind those changes and keep pushing it." 

Harington has a point — going by the MCU alone, where there are no gay male actors cast in any of the leading roles. None of the characters have been openly portrayed as gay, either, but it sounds like Harington is specifically talking about a gay actor playing a heterosexual hero. (As readers point out, one Marvel film outside the MCU, however — 2003's X2 — did include openly gay actor Alam Cumming playing Nightcrawler, while openly bisexual actress Anna Paquin played Rogue.)

Moving out of the Marvel fold, this doesn't seem to be taking place in the films of the DCEU, either. (When it comes to Star Warsyou do have a character who is pansexual, played by a straight man.) 

As Newton points out, we live in an age that is barely starting to accept homosexuality in our athletes. Will we ever get to the point where we accept a gay man wielding the shield of Captain America, or wearing Batman's cape and cowl?