Diversity has been a pressing issue throughout Hollywood for ages, but no time more so than the present. Whilst Marvel Studios has started to step up with film like Black Panther and LGBT characters like Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, not to mention casting traditionally Caucasian characters from the comics as African American, but one place that they haven’t yet help to promote is people with disabilities. However, they actually had an opportunity to do so, and just missed the boat – and it involves Hawkeye.
Hawkeye is a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who hasn’t quite lived up to his potential, but if they had made him more comic accurate and had him be deaf (which is a disability he developed in the early 80’s after an accident with his own sonic arrow), the character would not only be more intriguing in the movies, but he would have also become a herald for the disabled.
Nyle DiMarco, a model and disability activist, recently posted an article from Mic on his Twitter account on this very subject. He continued the conversation, stating:
“So many times people forget the disability conversation in diversity. They think diversity has to do with race [and] gender, but there’s so much more to it. We are part of diversity as people with disabilities and the danger is that we get excluded.
“There are a couple of issues where specifically Hawkeye is deaf. And so they brought in an actor who can hear instead. I think it would have made [better movies]… if they brought a deaf person in to play a deaf Hawkeye.
“I mean, no offense, but Hawkeye in the Avengers is boring. A lot of people don’t even like him… Let’s have a deaf actor in there instead, why not?”
The MCU has a unique opportunity in Avengers 4. With Hawkeye’s absence in Avengers :Infinity War, they could either create an issue that caused his deafness off screen, or simply have him in conversation with Iron Man or someone, miss what Stark said, adjust his hearing aid, and move on. Stark could be dumbfounded by the revelation of Hawkeye’s disability, making his abilities and prowess even more impressive, and without a lengthy explanation.
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