Marvel criticised for naming first non-binary characters Snowflake and Safespace
25 March 2020, 15:08
Marvel are introducing their first non-binary characters to the franchise by including them in their New Warriors comic, but people are concerned with the character's names.
It's 2020, and by now, most of us are going about our daily lives with some kind of wokeness, and inclusivity in the entertainment industry is at an all time high (or as high as it can be given that the bar was literally on the floor).
Off the back of this new movement, superhero giant Marvel are set to introduce their first two non-binary characters to the franchise. Sounds cool, right?
New Warriors is one of Marvel's classic comics, and follows the junior counterpart to The Avengers, and the next edition will include two non-binary identifying heroes as major characters.
While it seems rosy on the surface and the diversifying of the story has been widely applauded, there's something that's drawing the wrong kind of attention to the new additions - and it's their names.
Code named Snowflake and Safespace, fans are now turning on Marvel for mocking "woke millennial culture" by giving the characters derogatory names in exchange for the inclusion - and people aren't happy, particularly in the LGBTQ+ community.
as a black nonbinary creator this is extremely tone deaf and ugly. "Snowflake" "safespace" are you deadass— commissions in progress 💖 (@yakfrost) March 18, 2020
Hire black nonbinary creators instead of cis white folks thanks https://t.co/NXFuToiOt1
The reaction to the new Marvel characters "Snowflake" and "Safespace" pic.twitter.com/AvYN2tTrSC— This Is A Nighteye Fan Account (@BlazikenWreckMe) March 18, 2020
i don't wanna Discourse about snowflake and safespace but damn they just said fuck it huh— chris kindred (@itskindred) March 18, 2020
me waking up: maybe today will be less bad— ezra! @ home (@hyperprisms) March 18, 2020
m*rvel: we made our first nonbinary hero and their name is Snowflake. they have a twin brother named Safespace.
Oh my fucking god they are real. Fuck marvel. Transphobic piece of corporate shit. Cannot believe they thought naming their non binary characters “snowflake” and “safespace” was okay in any capacity— 🐠★ 𝗣𝗜𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘 ★🏴☠️ (@_jakune) March 18, 2020
Marvel bosses have openly spoken about representation in the franchise, and boss Kevin Feige spoke about its future by saying: "You look at the success of Captain Marvel and Black Panther. We want the movies to reflect the audience and we want every member of our global audience to see themselves reflected on the screen."
And though audiences aren't happy that a breakthrough moment in the franchise has been turned into a joke, writer Daniel Kibblesmith has said he purposefully gave them those names to break the stereotypes and put a positive spin on an insult.
He said: ‘It’s the idea that these are terms that get thrown around on the internet that they don’t see as derogatory. The connotations of the word “snowflake” in our culture right now are something fragile, and this is a character who is turning it into something sharp.'
Given Marvel's awareness of representation issues in the industry, it's disappointing for many that the characters were written this way, but Daniel has said that doing so allows people 'to take these names and wear them as badges of honour'.
Should we be supporting Snowflake and Safespace?