Benedict Wong Defends His Multiverse Of Madness Co-Star, Who's Been Dealing With Criticism Over Her Queer Character

Benedict Wong in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a powerful force in the entertainment world, with over a decade of experience and fan excitement behind each new project. The next of the upcoming Marvel movies is Doctor Strange 2, which is finally arriving this week (read some reviews here!) And actor Benedict Wong recently defended his Multiverse of Madnes co-star, whos’s been dealing with criticism over her queer character.

While Doctor Strange’s sequel will feature the return of some beloved characters like Wanda Maximoff, we’re also being treated to a new hero. Actress Xochitl Gomez is playing newcomer America Chavez, although the young star has been the subject of some hate since the new hero is queer. In an interview with Asia One, she said it was “okay” that she’s been the subject of some hate, leading Benedict Wong to come to her defense. In his words,

It's not okay. It's not okay. We have to all collectively understand that... she auditioned aged 13 and she joined us aged 14, one of the youngest actors to join the MCU of a film of that magnitude. You know, she's just a young girl playing her role and full praise for that... So there's a real level of shame for all those trolls that are cowards not to actually put their face on, and they should feel a deep shame of what they're doing. Let's all just play nice. Let's all just enjoy... what we are representing.

Talk about solidarity and allyship. Clearly Benedict Wong isn’t happy about the hate coming his Doctor Strange co-star’s way. This is especially true since Xochitl Gomez is such a young performer, who is already given the daunting task of joining the MCU in the midst of Phase Four. 

Marvel Studios has committed to being more inclusive, with America Chavez making history as a queer, young, latin hero. And while Xochitl Gomez seems thrilled to be bringing a member of the LGBT+ community to life in the MCU, there’s definitely been some backlash. In fact, Doctor Strange 2 has been banned from certain countries presumably for this reason.

Later in their same interview, Benedict Wong addressed how Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be noticeably missing from some international markets. But he understands the importance of on screen representation, saying:

It's sad that fans in that country won't get to see this as yet. But all we are doing is radiating representation, voicing the voiceless. And that's all that we can do — represent people so that they can be seen.

While Phases One and Two of the MCU largely focused on stories about white men, Kevin Feige and company put a concerted effort into bringing more women, people of color, and queer characters into the fold. That’s something that fans have responded to, but the LGBTQ+ plot lines have caused some controversy.

All will be revealed when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.