Why Scarlet Witch Should Be Portrayed by a Woman of Color in the Latest Avengers Movie

by Raizel Liebler

Like many X-men Universe fans, I am so glad to hear about the addition of Scarlet Witch to the lineup for the latest Avengers movie. As one of the most interesting and complex characters in the Marvel Universe — and one that has been frequently served the role of the crazy woman in the attic or the deux ex machina, my standards for not screwing up her portrayal are super-low.

However, I hope that instead of casting Scarlet Witch with whomever is the latest blondish starlet, she is portrayed by a woman of color. Scarlet Witch has a unique power — to control the perception of and occasionally alter actual reality, but most important for Marvel continuity, is the daughter of Magneto. Many great Internet debates have centered on Magneto’s heritage, but the movies made the choice for Jewish over Roma. However, Scarlet Witch/ Wanda was raised by a Roma family — and her deceased mother was also Roma. The continuity of the movies has Magneto as a child during the Holocaust, thereby making the Scarlet Witch’s traditional birth year of 1958 impossible.

But why couldn’t Scarlet Witch be born in Vietnam, during or shortly after the Vietnam War? Or otherwise have a backstory allowing for her to be portrayed by a woman of color?

One thing becomes obvious when looking at the present cast of Avengers compared to at least the more modern version of the X-men — it is very male and very white. Having Scarlet Witch portrayed by a woman of color would help bring a different type of balance than the Hawkeye Initiative. Changing an originally white character has already taken place within this continuity twice — Nick Fury and Heimdall — why not make it three?


Comments (6)

actully marvel has done doing white characters as african american three times for the king pin in daredevil was african american plus joss is looking at an actress who is not a blonde white flavor of the month for scarlet witch already named Saoirse ronan an upcoming latino star. and she is interested in the role.

I’m so glad I’m not the only person who thinks this all of the comics I have even in the xmen series she and quicksilver were a darker complexion

[…] I enjoyed Viv and Kenzo’s dialogue on Katy Perry because it was such a unique take and Raizel’s argument for making Scarlet Witch a woman of color in the next Avengers film because it’s SO DAMN […]

[…] to represent the Scarlet Witch’s Romani heritage. A May 2013 response to the announcement at thelearnedfangirl.com by Raizel Leibler called the Scarlet Witch, “one of the most interesting and complex characters in the Marvel […]

This article was cited at The Daily Beast in Rich Goldstein, A Guide to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the Twins Teased at the End of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, Daily Beast, April 5, 2014 at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/05/a-guide-to-scarlet-witch-and-quicksilver-the-twins-teased-at-the-end-of-captain-america-the-winter-soldier.html.

That article was reposted on Yahoo News as Meet the Secret Avengers at http://news.yahoo.com/avengers-twins-024736480–politics.html

Roma are POC. I’m not sure if the author of this article realizes that. It is pretty awful that they cast a white woman to play a POC role in yet another film. Canonically she is half-Jewish and half-Roma. In the Magneto Testament series the mother is depicted as a Roma woman. You should read that series to get a better understanding of why the casting for both of the films featuring his children is racist.

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