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Marvel actor says MCU’s LGBTQ representation ‘not good enough’

Trans actor Zach Barack has urged Marvel to "be brave".

By Alastair James

Marvel actor, Zach Barack
Trans actor Zach Barack says LGBTQ representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is "not good enough" (Image: Instagram/@zachbarack)

Actor Zach Barack has criticised Marvel’s record on trans representation and concluded that “It’s not good enough”.

Barack, who identifies as trans, voices Barney in the animated series Dead End: Paranormal Park. He also starred in Spider-Man: Far From Home alongside Tom Holland and Zendaya.

Discussing representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with Digital Spy, Zach says: “I’m going to tread lightly. It’s not good enough.”

Referencing Batgirl‘s cancellation, which he recognises is not a Marvel series, he says it’s related to the same fundamental issue.

“It all boils down to what we value – which is not femininity. That’s where hating trans people, in a lot of ways, comes from – that we don’t want people to act less than what we see, which is often masculinity.”

This, he explains, is “why it’s a lot less dangerous to be a trans guy than it is to be a trans girl or a trans feminine person.”

Marvel actor, Zach Barack
Trans actor Zach Barack says LGBTQ representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “not good enough” (Image: Instagram/@zachbarack)

Continuing, he calls on Marvel to “be brave,” and make characters trans.

“Do something in the world, so that when you die, you’re like, “I’m glad I tried that,” [laughs] and don’t regret not doing it.”

Zach wonders how you convince people at Marvel whose focus is more on ticket sales but the answer, he thinks is, “just be a good person.”

He goes on to say about Marvel executives, “I don’t know how to tell someone to care, but they should. It’s the right thing to do. And it matters. It matters more than anything.

“Be a human being, and look out for other human beings. It’s all we have. You know, we can’t afford to not be on the same team at this point.

“And if you’re really on my team like you’re saying you are, then show up and play the game.”

LGBTQ representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been an ongoing issue for many fans for years.

While there have been a smattering of queer Marvel characters by now including Loki, Valkyrie, Phastos, and America Chavez their queerness has never had any development and more often than not is referenced fleetingly.

Case in point: the Marvel character who started it all – the unnamed gay man who had all of a minute on screen in Avengers: Endgame.

Dead End: Paranormal Park is streaming on Netflix now.