A Marvel executive has blamed declining sales on consumers not wanting “any more diversity.”
Speaking to online magazine, ICv2, at the Marvel retailer summit, vice president of sales David Gabriel said, “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity.”
“They didn’t want female characters out there.”
“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.”
In recent years, the comic book publisher has introduced a range of new characters including a female Thor, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Gwen, Squirrel Girl and Moon Girl.
Gabriel’s comments have caused a backlash online and on social media with many arguing that Marvel’s poor sales are centred around then recycling storylines and characters.
Gabriel later clarified his comments in a second statement to ICv2 saying, “Discussed candidly by some of the retailers at the summit, we heard that some were not happy with the false abandonment of the core Marvel heroes and, contrary to what some said about characters ‘not working,’ the sticking factor and popularity for a majority of these new titles and characters…continue to prove that our fans and retailers are excited about these new heroes.”
“And let me be clear, our new heroes are not going anywhere.”
“We are proud and excited to keep introducing unique characters that reflect new voices and new experiences into the Marvel Universe and pair them with iconic heroes.”