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According to experts, the portrayal of Asian characters in Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” is a step toward inclusion in the fantasy genre.

Nov 30 2021

According to experts, the portrayal of Asian characters in Marvel Studios’ Eternals is a step toward inclusion in the fantasy genre. Since its premiere at the beginning of the month, Marvel Studios’ latest film has generated billions of dollars at the box office globally. And according to critics and scholars, the movie succeeds when it comes to non-stereotypical Asian representation in Hollywood. It stars several actors of Asian descent including Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, and Don Lee as Eternals, a race of ancient immortal aliens. According to experts, the film in part “bucks a glaring, historical trend” in which Asians have been “largely erased” from or barely cast in fantasy roles. Many have pointed out how series like Games of ThronesHarry Potter, and many others have portrayed Asian characters negatively or as “terrifying beings.” And one researcher claims that it is because most of the source material is written by White writers and adapted by White producers in Hollywood, which “continue[s] the trend of overlooking many inclusion concerns.” But while the movie doesn’t necessarily symbolize equity, it does show that more inclusion in the fantasy genre could signal “some early steps in progress.” YPulse’s Representation in Action trend research found that 76% of 13-39-year-old Asian consumers wish they saw more people of their race in TV shows / movies, while 57% believe that stories centered on BIPOC individuals should be written by BIPOC individuals. (NBC News)