So if you haven’t seen Avengers: Age of Ultron yet (and if you haven’t, what in Odin’s name are you waiting for?), there’s this very cool scene where Captain America is slugging it out with Ultron on the top of a truck, and Hawkeye swoops down low with his Quinjet so that Black Widow can leap out of it while riding her motorcycle and ohmygodohmygodohmygod… ahem. I mean, yeah, it’s pretty cool.
But it’s not cool enough according to the people with the very important job of deciding which toys we get to play with. For in their child’s fist-sized world of possibilities, the cool act of leaping off a plane whilst riding a motorcycle can only be accomplished by the manliest of men. (To be fair, at least Widow gets to be the pilot in the Lego version of that scene from the movie — probably because Lego women superheroes aren’t distracted by their new manicures all the time.)
Now, you might think Disney would have learned its lesson after that whole “boys having birthdays can’t possibly be expected to look at Gamora while eating their cake” incident last year — or the flak Disney got for not having Black Widow merch out for the first Avengers film or even for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (where there’s a damn good argument to be made she was just as much a co-lead as Cap himself) — but apparently not. So good on guys like Mark Ruffalo and Clark “Phil Coulson” Gregg for helping to bring some attention to this somewhat chronic state of affairs.
As for me, I know there’s only one way to bring a sexist entertainment conglomerate to its knees: by paying homage to David Letterman’s recent retirement with a Top Ten list of my own!
Annnnnnnd here we go… (drum roll)
Top 10 Ways Disney is Trying to Contain the “Where’s the Black Widow, You Sexist Bastards?” Situation
10. Uses time machine buried under Tomorrowland to go back in time to the 1960s; erases character from Don Heck’s sketchbook.
9. Next Avengers film features subplot that shows how Black Widow underwent sex-reassignment surgery to go really deep undercover (with cameo appearance by Chris Pine).
8. New Marvel miniseries reveals Black Widow is actually a long-lost princess; she’s quietly shuffled into Disney’s other big franchise and played by gal from that Jessie show
7. Invites Mark Ruffalo in for quiet chat; refuses to let him off the “It’s a Small World” ride until he promises to have more sons and nephews.
6. Hauls out decades of marketing research to show how girls totally have cooties, ew!
5. Admitted they were too sexually aroused by Johannson’s action-figure lookalike; decided they couldn’t in good conscience subject innocent American boys to that kind of moral temptation.
4. Makes up for it by demanding Abrams insert 20-minute-long “empowering” mud wrestling scene in the next Star Wars movie.
3. Demands director’s cut special-edition DVD that shows how Captain America rode his motorcycle off the Quinjet to help Captain America fight Ultron on top of the truck. You know, the way it really happened.
2. Proposes spin-off Netflix series starring Black Widow, Gamora, Adrianne Palicki’s Wonder Woman, Halle Berry’s Storm, and the entire cast from TV’s Birds of Prey as sassy partners at a law firm. “They’re tough as nails in the courtroom by day and breaking their nails (and hearts) at night as Gotham’s sexiest vigilantes, Tuesdays on Fox!” (dir. by David E. Kelley).
And the number one way Disney is trying to contain the situation…
1. They kind of hoped no one would remember how that scene in the movie actually went. I mean, come on, a chick driving a motorcycle? Without a mirror to check her makeup? How crazy is that?
Take it away, Paul!