Marvel Studios Facing Intense Backlash For Its Newest Character

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Anthony Mackie as Captain America

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios is facing backlash following its latest announcement.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe ended Phase Three in dramatic fashion with Avengers: Endgamesaying goodbye to Marvel heavyweights Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America. This led to the beginning of Phase Four with the Disney+ Original WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Paul Bettany (Vision) back in 2021.

(L-R) Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk boarding SHIELD Helicarrier in The Avengers (2012)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Following that, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) starring Simu Liu (Shang-Chi), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) with Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire all as their own separate, Multiversal version of Peter Parker, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) with Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and recently, Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) with Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson) and Natalie Portman (Jane Foster/Mighty Thor) were all released

Now, as Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wraps things up with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) this August and Chadwick Boseman’s send-off in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) this November, fans have been left to wonder what might be next for the studio.

We got a major glimpse of what is to come in Phase 5 this past weekend at the D23 Expo when several announcements were made, however, there was one that seemingly angered a group of fans.

Chris Evans as Captain America (right) and Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow (left)
Credit: Marvel Studios

During the D23 Expo this past weekend, Marvel announced that Israeli actress Shira Haas had been cast as the character Sabra in the upcoming film Captain America: New World Order.

However, the inclusion of Sabra– an Israeli, a mutant, and an agent of the Mossad– has many Palestinian fans upset by the decision.

According to reports from Haaretz, A number of Palestinians on social media say the studio “is engaging in Zionist propaganda.”

“Marvel announcing Sabra as a new character when she’s a Mossad and isr**l propaganda character just one week before the 40th commemoration of the Sabra and Shatila massacre is just… sickening,” Twitter user Aya wrote.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Another user with the handle Demographic Threat shared this about the character:

“Can someone explain to me why they keep using the name Sabra? The first thing pretty much every Palestinian remembers when we read or hear Sabra, is the massacre of Sabra Shatilla, it feels deliberate.”

Others on social media, however, noted that the character first appeared in Marvel comics two years earlier and was named after the sabra plant, which is used to describe native-born Israelis.

Thousands of other Twitter users had similar comments expressing backlash for the decision, but no response from Disney or Marvel has been given as of now.

Anthony Mackie as Captain America
Credit: Quantum Encounter

The film is set to release in 2024. It will star Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson (Captain America) as Chris Evans (Steve Rogers) passed the shield onto his friend in Avengers: Endgame, as well as Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier.

MCU Phase Five kicks off with Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania with Paul Rudd (Ant-Man/Scott Lang) and Evangeline Lilly (Janet van Dyne/ The Wasp) on February 17, 2023. The final James Gunn-directed Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 with Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) will be released on May 5, 2023 and The Marvels, a direct sequel to Captain Marvel (2019) starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers and newcomer Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel), is set to debut on July 28, 2023.

What do you think of this decision? Let us know in the comments.

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