Marvel Fans Blast “Disrespectful,” “Ableist” Theory

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Moon Knight transformation

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios’ latest Disney+ Original series, Moon Knight, debuted on March 30, 2022.

Oscar Isaac in 'Moon Knight'
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Unlike previous Marvel Cinematic Universe series on the streamer — including WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and HawkeyeMoon Knight does not focus on known characters from the Infinity Saga, but instead introduces a Marvel Comics character who has not previously appeared in Kevin Feige’s MCU.

Moon Knight transformation
Credit: Marvel Studios

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In the comics universe, Moon Knight’s dissociative identity disorder is a key component of who he is — and the same is holding true in the live-action series.

When Steven Grant discovers he is sharing a psyche with Marc Spector, a mercenary killer, his world changes forever, as the world does for most people who struggle with mental health issues in real life.

oscar isaac as moon knight scared
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Moon Knight has already come under fire for largely erasing the main character’s Jewish heritage, which is well-known in comic storylines. Now, a recent theory has Marvel fans up in arms again, this time calling out the idea that Grant/Spector’s dissociative identity disorder is not necessarily real.

A Twitter summary of the original theory reads:

#MoonKnight’s multiple personalities could be multiple universes’ versions of Moon Knight converging in one body.

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Fans almost immediately began weighing in with their opinions about this idea. Alice said:

With the stigma around DID you really thought it would be okay to post this? He is one of the few comic characters with DID that is not inherently villanized [sic: villainized] for his diagnosis. You talk about “insensitivity” to DID in your article but don’t see how disrespectful this is?

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Another user, Dinah, sarcastically referred to the depression Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) suffers from in the final film of the Iron Man trilogy:

Yeah and iron man’s depression in iron man 3 was actually because he was posssed [sic: possessed] by dormammu who was making him have sad thoughts

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Janni went to bat for mental health awareness, posting:

They’re called alters not personalities, for one, there’s a big difference. DID deserves to be treated respectfully and not reduced to a part of the multiverse. Besides they worked with a mental health consultant and it’s a big part of the MK comics so I highly doubt it.

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A user going by “Danielle should be writing” eloquently summed up what most Marvel fans seem to be thinking:

I kinda get why some would consider this but let’s not erase someone’s mental health disorder…representation is important and the DID diagnosis is an important aspect of the character. Let’s not be abelist please

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The discussion on social media is ongoing if you want to share your own opinions about Moon Knight and the importance of de-stigmatizing mental illness.

More on Moon Knight

oscar isaac as mr. knight version of moon knight
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Moon Knight, the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is officially described as:

Moon Knight follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who become plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. 

As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.

What do you think about this theory?

You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the six series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight — on Disney+ anytime.

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