Marvel fans have waited a long time to have a gay romance in a superhero film, and many hoped Black Panther would finally be it.
But the film is out, and there is not a single gay character in the film.
In the comics, bodyguard Ayo is in a relationship with fellow female warrior Aneka.
Early screening of Black Panther gave hope to Marvel fans
An early screening saw Danai Gurira’s Okoye staring at Florence Kasumba’s Ayo flirtatiously, sparking hope there would be a same-sex relationship.
However, Marvel has denied the fans the chance to have a gay relationship on screen.
‘The nature of the relationship between Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Florence Kasumba’s Ayo in Black Panther is not a romantic one,’ they said.
The final version of the film depicts Okoye as straight and in a relationship with W’Kabi, played by Daniel Kaluuya.
Black Panther’s co-writer Joe Robert Cole, an Emmy nominee for his work on American Crime Story, discussed the lesbian erasure.
‘I know that there were quite a few conversations around different things, different directions with different characters, and characters that we may have,’ he told ScreenCrush.
‘The nature of the relationship…is not a romantic one.’
‘We thought: “Well, maybe we’ll work it this way with an arc or work it that way with an arc”.
When asked specifically about the clip, he said he couldn’t even remember the scene.
‘The scene you’re talking about, I don’t remember,’ he said.
‘I can’t remember the exact exchange you’re talking about, but I think it was really brief. I’m not sure.
‘I know that it was not – there wasn’t some major theme through that we were looking to explore with that in terms of the story.
‘We didn’t like, pull out a full thread of some theme.’
Fans respond with #LetAyoHaveAGirlfriend hashtag
Fans responded to the erasure with the hashtag, #LetAyoHaveAGirlfriend.
One said on Twitter: ‘I would gladly trade gay Dumbledore for on-screen representation of canonically queer Ayo,.
Another said: ‘This is so typical of Hollywood. LGBT representation is severely lacking in mainstream movies, and Hollywood (and Marvel just doesn’t care.
‘We’re sick and tired of being ignored and excluded from big movies like this.
They added: ‘Why is LGBT only in the independent films? Why can’t it be featured in mainstream movies? Because the public will laugh at them? Because the public hates gays? Or just not ready? Those hardships have been hindering our progress to a more diverse, more elevated sort of filmmaking.’
This comes following the campaign to give Captain America A Boyfriend, which was also unsuccessful.