An executive for Marvel has claimed that its readers “don’t want diversity” in the range of characters included in the stories.
Over recent years, the publisher has made an effort to expand the type of role included in its comic books, including a female Thor, Pakistani-American superhero Kamala Khan and more featuring on covers.
According to the company, sales have declined since taking these actions and David Gabriel, vice president of sales at Marvel, is now saying the two are linked. “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” AV Club reports he said.
“They didn’t want female characters out there,” he continued. “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.
“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 later clarified those comments, pointing out that non-white, non-male characters are still some of the brand’s most popular and promised they wouldn’t stop using those figures in the near future.