A show with the first titular LGBTQ+ character in the MCU needs to have a crew that understands LGBTQ+ related issues. Fans are buzzing about a potential new writer for the series, but doubts are growing in the face of some concerning Twitter activity. Will the new writer be sensitive to LGBTQ+ issues?
The first season of Loki had some controversial LGBTQ+ representation. Loki and his variant, Sylvie, were confirmed to be bisexual, which I praised greatly. But the show fumbled with genderfluid representation by including some of the offensive dialogue and unfortunate tropes. As a result, this drained some of the goodwill the show had previously built up with queer fans.
These issues deeply divided fandom. Even now, months after the show ended, the debate on whether it was good representation or not rages on. I don’t see this issue being settled among the fandom any time soon. The Loki fandom is fractured and it really sucks.
Regardless of the fumbles, these characters are bisexual and that can’t be taken away from us now. We can only hope that season two will have a good writing team that can handle the representation appropriately, hopefully avoiding the negative tropes and embracing genderfluidity. They can earn some goodwill back in the process if they write these aspects of the character well. A lot of us Loki fans genuinely hope for this outcome.
Needless to say, it’s going to be an anxious wait for the next season, but some of us remain hopeful that things will turn out alright.
Here’s where the issue comes in: A possible writer that has gained the fandom’s following, also has some troubling Twitter activity that may reveal insensitivity towards LGBTQ+ issues. As such, the perceptive fans are starting to get nervous about what this could mean.
Is this feeling justified? Let’s talk about it.
How do we know they will write for Loki Season 2?
Quite simply, we don’t know for sure that this person will be writing for Season 2.
A lot of you are probably going to stop reading right there, and that’s fine. As this isn’t confirmed, we won’t be naming them here. Should this be confirmed after publishing this piece, we’ll update the article accordingly.
While I don’t typically like to write about things that can’t be 100% fact-checked, the buzz in the fandom makes it hard to ignore. There’s some really real fear that someone who seems sympathetic to homophobic sentiments could be writing a bisexual and genderfluid character. That has rightfully put a lot of people on edge. With that in mind, let me lay out why some of fandom assumes the alleged writer is part of the crew.
The primary backing to this theory is that the writer seems to be acquaintances and in mutual follow with numerous people involved with the show, including some of the main writers. They could have met through Pepperdine MFA, which they all seem to have in common, and they could just be friends. They’re friends with many writers on Twitter, but the abundance of Loki-related mutuals is notable.
The second piece of evidence being honed in on is a suspiciously timed announcement that they’ll be writing for television. Back in October, they tweeted that they’d be writing for a TV show. This was liked by people on the Loki crew.
The announcement also came at about the same time as writing was being done on the series. We know the writing team was still being formed in the summer based off this interview, where writer Michael Waldron said he wasn’t sure if he’d be part of Season Two. As of January, the development is “underway.” Also, production will likely begin this month. We’re likely near the end of the writing phase, if not completely done with it already. October seems like a reasonable time for a staff writer to be hired based on this timeline.
None of these things is a smoking gun. They could have just been hired at a conveniently suspicious time and have a conveniently relevant group of friends.
Either way, they’re writing for a TV show somewhere now, and their activity regarding LGBTQ+ rights is concerning. Even if fandom is off the mark on where they’ll be employed, they’re still going to be creating content, and the concern about insensitive writing regarding LGBTQ+ issues on any project is a valid one.
What about their activity is so concerning to queer Loki fans?
The Like That Started It All
The writer in question liked a tweet earlier today that affirms a traditional view of ‘sexual ethic.’ This is defined in the Twitter thread as sex and marriage between a man and a woman only. The person who made that tweet is also against trans rights and believes we are anti-science activists. It’s very blatantly homophobic and transphobic. They liked the tweet after the person clarified that it was specifically against same-sex relationships, too, so it feels like they had to have seen it.
This like is actually what set fandom buzzing. It was jarring and pretty blatantly queerphobic in a variety of ways. It set fire to group chats across the Internet and people started digging. And we found even more concerning activity.
On the political front, they follow Donald Trump and members of his administration (an administration that repeatedly harmed the LGBTQ+ community), as well as Mitt Romney (who famously opposed same-sex marriage), Mike Huckabee (a noted bigot), and numerous other conservatives who are extremely anti-LGBTQ+. They also follow bigoted journalists, like this one from Newsmax, Sean Hannity (homophobic), and Ben Shapiro (homophobic and transphobic).
Unless they have these people muted, homophobic and transphobic tweets will show up on their timeline occasionally. But even if they missed them, the reputations of these accounts are pretty well known.
As a counterpoint, they also follow people in the Biden administration, so can we deduce anything from this? I don’t know, but I’d question any friends of mine who follow the above-mentioned (or similar) accounts regardless of who they also follow. If I’d be dubious of a close friend supporting Ben Shapiro and Sean Hannity, then being concerned about trusting the care of an important queer character to them is entirely reasonable.
As far as fellow creatives are concerned, they follow Chris Pratt (known for attending a church that supports conversion therapy), Gina Carano (belittled trans people), Adam Baldwin (compared gay marriage to incest), and Kirk Cameron (against gay marriage). They do, however, follow many LGBTQ+ creatives just like they follow Democrats alongside bigoted Republicans. So take that as you will. It’s quite a mixed bag.
Let’s play Devil’s Advocate.
While everything I’ve highlighted is concerning, let’s play Devil’s Advocate for a minute.
Maybe they follow conservatives for reasons that have nothing to do with LGBTQ+ issues. It’s possible they disagree with them specifically on that, but agrees with the conservative accounts about other unrelated things.
Maybe they liked a tweet about adhering to traditional sexual ethics by mistake. Perhaps they misunderstood it and didn’t see the follow-up clarification tweet. There’s a chance it was a slip of the finger. Maybe their phone glitched?
Perhaps they follow these accounts to stay on top of news and for no other reason.
Maybe the people behind the Loki series know that they’re not homophobic and transphobic and know that they follow these accounts for different reasons? Or maybe they just weren’t vetted? Perhaps they don’t even work for the show at all and maybe the writers that follow them are just supporting an up-and-coming writer.
These are all possibilities. Unless someone comes out and clears the air on this issue, we won’t know for sure. We can’t possibly know. All we can do is assume they follow these accounts and liked that tweet for the most straightforward reason: they agree.
Why this matters to queer Loki fans.
The reason queer Loki fans even noticed that this person could possibly be a writer for the show is exactly because of this type of issue. They’ve been following all sorts of social media activity, every interview, and loads of supplemental material looking for clues that this character will be handled well going forward. Fans want to be sure that the staff understand and appreciate our community and will handle Loki with care.
It’s hard to explain what it means to see yourself represented on screen. A lot of people belittle the importance of this type of representation, but for a lot of us, it is important. To see queerness enter the MCU after over a decade of nothing (or just as unnamed side characters) was a blessing. But it was a blessing that came with an immediate cause for concern when something as basic as gender identity was mishandled. So fans have been watching developments with a cautious outlook.
Is this type of behavior obsessive? Oh my yes. Yes, it is. I don’t think any of us are going to deny that. But it’s obsession grown out of valid alarm. There’s alarm that something so important could unravel right before our eyes.
So all we have now is taking the ‘wait and see’ approach. We’re worried. We’re not sure if our theories about the new writer are true.
But if they are true, all of this really sucks.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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