Deaf Activist Points Out That Marvel’s Diversity Problem Isn’t Just About Race

“[People] think diversity has to do with race and gender, but there’s so much more to it.”

Nyle DiMarco, a model and deaf activist, is shedding a little light on a big problem with inclusion.

And he used the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a jumping off point.

In April, the website Mic published an article about how MCU has a diversity problem.

The article discusses at length how Marvel tends to put white men at the forefront of its stories. But like many other articles and conversations about diversity, it neglects to mention people with disabilities.

So when the story popped up in DiMarco’s feed, the extremely vocal disability advocate wasn’t going to let that significant detail slide.

“Disability is also a part of diversity, @mic,” DiMarco, the winner of Cycle 22 of “America’s Next Top Model” and Season 22 of “Dancing With the Stars,” wrote on Twitter. “HawkEye is actually Deaf and MARVEL Cinematic Universe made the character hearing.”

Mic ’fessed up to its oversight and invited DiMarco to join in a lengthy and candid conversation on Tuesday about disability.

“So many times people forget the disability conversation in diversity,” DiMarco told Mic. “They think diversity has to do with race [and] gender, but there’s so much more to it. We are part of diversity as people with disabilities and the danger is that we get excluded.”

During the conversation, DiMarco said Hollywood has made some small strides in disability representation, but added that the film industry has quite a way to go and used the Avengers film franchise again as an example.

“There are a couple of issues where specifically Hawkeye is deaf,” DiMarco said, referring to the comic books. “And so they brought in an actor who can hear instead. I think it would have made [better movies]… if they brought a deaf person in to play a deaf Hawkeye.”

“I mean, no offense, but Hawkeye in the Avengers is boring. A lot of people don’t even like him… Let’s have a deaf actor in there instead, why not?”

To watch DiMarco’s entire interview, which also touches on many other interesting subjects such as his sexuality and growing up in a loving community, check out the video above.

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