AceShowbiz - Benedict Wong has blasted homophobic trolls for attacking his "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" co-star, Xochitl Gomez. The actor portraying Doctor Strange's mentor in the Marvel blockbuster has defended the teen actress, who plays gay superhero America Chavez, after backlash over her character, who references her lesbian mothers in the film.
"It's a big deal that America is in this movie. It's just huge. And I'm just so happy that Marvel has stuck to it and kept the scene in there," 16-year-old Gomez said when speaking to Asia One. "And it's just pretty crazy that I get to be the one who plays America. Although, yes, my name may be circled within hate and stuff but it's okay."
Wong, however, was quick to jump into the interview and added, "It's not okay. It's not okay. We have to all collectively understand that… She auditioned aged 13 and she joined us aged 14, one of the youngest actors to join the MCU of a film of that magnitude. You know, she's just a young girl playing her role and full praise for that."
Saudi Arabia's cinema classification board recently confirmed Disney has refused to remove the scene in which Gomez's character references her two mothers. Meanwhile, Wong, who reprises his role as his namesake sorcerer Wong in the film, described online trolls as "cowards", and praised the movie for "radiating representation."
"There's a real level of shame for all those trolls that are cowards not to actually put their face [out there], and they should feel a deep shame of what they're doing. Let's all just play nice. Let's all just enjoy what we are representing. It's sad that fans in that country won't get to see this," he said. "But all we are doing is radiating representation, voicing the voiceless. And that's all that we can do - represent people so that they can be seen."