Russell T. Davies is not happy with Marvel and Disney.
Russell T. Davies is the creator of several memorable LGBTQ shows and characters. He created the original Queer As Folk, Cucumber and Banana, the first four seasons of the revived Dr. Who show which gave us Captain Jack Harkness and then his spin-off show Torchwood, and the recent success known as It’s A Sin. Russell T. Davies knowns and is committed to queer representation. And now, he’s calling out Marvel Studios for what he says was poor representation in the Loki series.
Russell T. Davies’ now-viral comments came from a July conversation with actress Jill Nalder for Swansea University, which has since been uploaded onto YouTube.
“Nonetheless, I think huge, cleaning warning bells are ringing as the giants rise up with Netflix and Disney+ especially,” Davies said. “I think that’s a very great worry. Loki makes one reference to being bisexual once, and everyone’s like, ‘Oh my god, it’s like a pansexual show.’ It’s like one word. He said the word ‘prince,’ and we’re meant to go, ‘Thank you, Disney! Aren’t you marvelous?'”
He continued: “It’s a ridiculous, craven, feeble gesture towards the vital politics and the stories that should be told.”
To be fair, Davies does have a point here. The line and scene happened during the third episode of the show’s first season. In it, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is having a conversation with the female version of himself named Sylvie, played by Sophia Di Martino. The two are trapped on a dying planet but still find the time to settle in and talk about their love lives.
“So, on the subject of love, is there a lucky beau waiting for you at the end of this crusade?” Loki asks.
“Yeah there is, actually,” Sylvie jokes. “Managed to maintain quite a serious long-distance relationship with a postman whilst running across time from one apocalypse to another.”
A few moments later, Sylvie asks, “How about you? You’re a prince. Must have been a would-be-princesses. Or perhaps another prince?”
Loki then responds, while notably lit up in bi pride colors, “A bit of both. I suspect the same as you. But nothing ever–”
“–real.” Sylvie finishes.
From the moment I joined @LokiOfficial it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual. It is a part of who he is and who I am too. I know this is a small step but I’m happy, and heart is so full, to say that this is now Canon in #mcu #Loki 💗💜💙 pic.twitter.com/lz3KJbewx8
— Kate “I am the Lizard Queen” Herron (@iamkateherron) June 23, 2021
This moment was celebrated online as Loki coming out as bisexual. Even the show’s director, Kate Herron who is openly bisexual, was proud to have included the line. Though, she acknowledged that it was “a small step.”
As she wrote on Twitter, “From the moment I joined Loki it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual. It is a part of who he is and who I am too. I know this is a small step but I’m happy, and heart is so full, to say that this is now Canon in mcu.”
But, unfortunately, Herron was right that the line ended up being a small step. Loki’s bisexuality was never mentioned again. In fact, the rest of the season was dedicated to Loki falling in love with Sylvie. Who, again, was the female version of himself. That’s… interesting enough on its own. But also, Loki was surrounded by male versions of himself in the latter half of the season. Yet, he felt no romantic attachments to them. Only to his female version.
Herron later went on to expand on her thoughts of the moment and Loki’s bisexuality.
“Obviously, like I’ve said, it’s very personal to me, and I said it was a small step in some ways — because obviously, he’s just talking about it,” she told Entertainment Tonight in an interview. “But in the bigger scale of things, I’m like, oh no, it’s massive actually. If I saw that when I was 10, it would be really big for me.”
While we will probably continue to debate whether the scene and line were massive or small, we also have to wonder about the future. With Loki confirmed for a second season, will his bisexuality be acknowledged further? Or will LGBTQ Marvel fans be disappointed… yet again?