As a part of this past weekend’s “A Marvel-ous Universe!” panel at the 2016 Long Beach Comic Con, several workers of Marvel Studios, including Captain America: The First Avenger writer Nick Spencer, Agent Carter writer Brandon Easton, and Thor producer and X-23 creator Craig Kyle, took part in a discussion regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

With seventeen Marvel Studios’ properties currently having been released, only two of them have featured a female lead, Agent Carter and Jessica Jones with the first show (Agent Carter) first airing only after the first ten MCU movies had premiered. And before Black Panther hits the big screen in 2018, Luke Cage will be the first MCU property to be headlined by a person of color. Needless to say, diversity has been a big (and vital) conversation surrounding the world that Marvel has built throughout the years. Which is why it was no surprise that much of this weekend’s panel included questions on Marvel’s future plans for diversity.

When a fan asked about the delay in featuring more women and people of color in lead roles, Easton reminded fans that Marvel Studios was “first and foremost a business”.

“There are things that go on behind the scenes, political and financial, which are ultimately the same thing, that the average consumer knows nothing about,” he said.

While no exact specifics were shared, Easton did hint at the approval process for Black Panther and Captain Marvel, the first two Marvel films to feature a black lead and female lead, respectively.

“We had a lot of plans on the hopper… We had Black Panther, which we’re doing now, other projects that I can’t mention… We want to make those movies, but we answered to people who have different ideas. Even Kevin Feige answered to people who had different ideas at the time. But after ten years, we finally scraped them off our boots, and now you’re seeing those movies, you’re seeing Captain Marvel. Those fights have had rooms for a long time.”

Without going into specifics here, there were certain events that took place within the last year, events that led to Marvel Studios getting rid of some ‘waste’. And now, they’re the better for it. Since then, the studio has made more of an effort to be more inclusive in not just their TV shows, but also the films, something we’re already seeing with next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.

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