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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Louis Chilton

Doctor Strange actor Benedict Wong condemns trolling of child co-star Xochitl Gomez: ‘It’s not OK’


Benedict Wong has condemned trolling of his 16-year-old Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness co-star Xochitl Gomez.

In the forthcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster, Gomez plays America Chavez, a dimension-crossing hero who is depicted in the comics as gay.

Multiverse of Madness, a sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange, has so far been denied a theatrical release in Saudi Arabia due to a small amount of LGBT+ content contained within the film.

Reports suggest a scene in which Chavez makes reference to having two mothers has proved particularly problematic within the country, where same-sex sexual activity is criminalised.

Speaking to AsiaOne, Gomez said: “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. 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 then chimed in to give his thoughts on the subject, condemning some of the trolling Gomez has seemingly received.

Actor Xochitl Gomez, photographed at the LA premiere of ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ on 2 May 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s not okay. It’s not okay,” he said. “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 [in a] film of that magnitude. You know, she’s just a young girl playing her role and full praise for that.

“So there’s a real level of shame for all those trolls that are cowards not to actually put their face on, 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 as yet. 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.”

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is released in UK cinemas on Thursday 5 May.

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