content by

Christina Tucker

Birds of Prey’s Black Mask Highlights the Problem with Queer Villains

When the news broke that Warner Bros’ upcoming Birds of Prey film would feature a male villain who would have “palpable sexual tension” with another male villain, Victor Zsasz, eyebrows were raised—especially considering the rumors that his character arc will include the release of racy photographs. It is true that fans have been hoping to see a queer character in the DCEU, not to mention within the oeuvre of superhero media. But is this what fans are asking for? Another queer villain? Another queer male villain? Another queer male villain who is played by a straight actor? (This time, Ewan McGregor.) The fans sighed; the tweets flew fast and furious. It’s not that there can’t be queer people who are bad, we argued. But we are a sick of them only getting to be bad. Aren’t we?

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