Marvel VP clarifies disheartening diversity statements

Marvel VP clarifies disheartening diversity statements
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Being a comic book fan in 2017 is an emotional rollercoaster. Your favorite properties keep getting repackaged and rebooted for television and film, and sometimes your favorite hero turns out to be a Nazi

On the page, though, Marvel was making strides, with heroes diverse in gender, race and sexuality. But according to the company’s VP of sales, David Gabriel, those rare and valued qualities don’t fly in sales.

“What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” Gabriel told ICv2 regarding the company’s 2016 sales at the Marvel Retail Summit. “They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not. I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales.”

“We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against,” Gabriel added. “That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.”

Gabriel did note in the interview that the decline in sales was “difficult” for the Marvel team, who put a lot of time and thought into their new heroes and “new, exciting ideas.”

Following immediate backlash to his comments, Gabriel responded with a statement: 

Discussed candidly by some of the retailers at the summit, we heard that some were not happy with the false abandonment of the core Marvel heroes and, contrary to what some said about characters “not working,” the sticking factor and popularity for a majority of these new titles and characters like Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, The Mighty Thor, Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, and Moon Girl, continue to prove that our fans and retailers ARE excited about these new heroes. And let me be clear, our new heroes are not going anywhere! We are proud and excited to keep introducing unique characters that reflect new voices and new experiences into the Marvel Universe and pair them with our iconic heroes.”We have also been hearing from stores that welcome and champion our new characters and titles and want more!  They’ve invigorated their own customer base and helped them grow their stores because of it.  So we’re getting both sides of the story and the only upcoming change we’re making is to ensure we don’t lose focus of our core heroes.”]

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