Updated on May 10, 2019. Posted on May 1, 2019

    This One "Endgame" Scene Has Sparked A Massive Debate On Twitter About Representations Of Women In The MCU

    Warning: Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead.

    Avengers: Endgame has been in cinemas for almost a week now, and it's fair to say that, so far, it has been a colossal success.

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    The movie, which concludes the story of its 21 predecessors, has already made more than $1 billion at the global box office, smashing basically every cinema record in the process.

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    And the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, too – Endgame currently has 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as 9/10 stars on IMDb.

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    But of course, there has been some criticism along the way, which is where your official warning comes into play. The following includes a bunch of huge spoilers, so if you haven't seen Endgame yet, now is your last chance to turn back and save yourself.

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    Initial criticisms picked holes in the rules of time travel, a somewhat confusing concept that stated: "If you go to the past, then the present becomes your past and the past becomes your future." Other criticisms included characters such as Okoye appearing only a handful of times in the entire three-hour run, despite being used in the posters, as well as concerns over LGBT representation after the first openly gay character in the MCU made a short appearance.

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    But recently another criticism has arisen, centred around a scene towards the end of the movie which sees the female Avengers assemble to kick some ass on the battlefield.

    For those who need a mini recap, it all goes down when the Avengers run a relay to get the Infinity Gauntlet across the battlefield. Black Panther passes it to Spider-Man, who hands it over to Captain Marvel. Then comes the incredible moment when Spider-Man asks how she's going to get it through Thanos's army.

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    Wanda: "Don't worry."

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    Okoye: "She's got help."

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    Female Avengers: *Assemble to kick ass*.

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    Now, I'm not sure about your screening, but when I went to see Endgame, the entire theatre erupted into cheers after Okoye said: "She's got help." In fact, it was the second-loudest cheer of the movie, behind Captain America getting ahold of Mjolnir.

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    But despite an initial positive reaction, the scene appears to have sparked a debate on the internet, with people questioning whether it felt "forced" or "tried too hard".

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    Many viewers suggested that the championing of women in this scene felt insincere, considering there's only been one Marvel movie with a woman in the lead.

    In a discussion about the movie, Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley agreed that the scene was trying too hard, saying: "It was so female thirsty. Either give me a female Avengers or don't. Forget this teasy foreplay. Give me what we all want."

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    Maude Garrett, a guest who appeared in the same video, echoed Jacqueline's thoughts. "We already saw it in Infinity War," she said, adding that she thought it was better the first time around. Jacqueline agreed, saying: "Yes, because it felt more organic. This one did feel a little bit forced."

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    In Infinity War, Black Widow, Okoye, and Scarlet Witch band together during the Battle of Wakanda to defeat Proxima Midnight.

    On Twitter a similar debate raged, with people continuing to call the scene forced.

    @waterss_ @Blakehefner SO FORCED!!!! my goodness, the IW scene wasn't forced when they went up against Proxima Midnight in wakanda. But this one....ugh, I almost laughed out loud. And I have daughters and love seeing strong women, but yuck. Don't force it.

    An article titled "Avengers: Endgame Doesn't Earn Its Big 'Girl Power' Moment" also began to circulate, and it called the scene "glaringly patronizing". The writer, Caroline Siede, said: "It misses the mark so badly it could only come from a studio that made 20 movies before it got to one with a female lead and then acted like we should all be grateful for its trailblazing feminism."

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    Many, however, jumped to Marvel's defence, calling the scene empowering.

    so no one’s going to talk about how empowering the scene where all the female avengers assembled to protect spiderman? #AvangersEndgame

    Others pointed out that the scene could actually be a reference to A-Force, the all-female Avengers that includes characters such as Captain Marvel and She-Hulk.

    @unique_jenique @waterss_ It’s a reference to A Force, an all-woman team of Avengers from the comics. Pretty good reason.

    This particular strand of the debate got people wondering if Marvel was hinting at the future release of A-Force in the next MCU phase.

    Interestingly, the men who wrote Infinity War and Endgame, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, were recently asked about the scene and how it came together, revealing that there was a discussion about whether it pandered to the audience too much.

    Greg Doherty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

    Speaking to the New York Times, Markus said: "Part of the fun of the Avengers movies has always been team-ups. Marvel has been amassing this huge roster of characters. You've got crazy aliens. You've got that many badass women. You've got three or four people in Iron Man suits."

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    McFeely added: "There was much conversation. Is [the scene] delightful or is it pandering? We went around and around on that. Ultimately we went, 'We like it too much.'"

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    Back on Twitter, the debate soon took another turn as people brought Black Widow into the argument. Many were enraged that she'd been killed off earlier in the movie and therefore hadn't been included in the scene, despite paving the way for female Avengers in the MCU.

    Can you believe Natasha Romanaoff, the first female avenger, was not present in THAT scene even though she paved the way for it to happen??? Girls and gays, we riot at dawn

    Marvel can never and I mean FUCKING NEVER talk about female empowerment when in the all female scene and even when they all come back THEY FUCKING PAYED DUST TO THE FIRST FEMALE AVENGER. The disrespect towards #BlackWidow during the entire movie was DISGUSTING

    fuck you for doing nat so dirty. kill her all u want but could've atleast included her in the iconic avengers assemble and superheroine fight scenes because #1, she's the first female superhero in the mcu and #2 sHE'S THE FIRST FUCKING FEMALE SUPERHERO IN THE MCU @Kevfeige

    Black Widow was also at the centre of another debate surrounding female representation in Marvel. Many people were upset at the decision not only to kill off her character but also to not give her a funeral like Iron Man, who received a considerable amount of onscreen grief in comparison.

    I AM MAD AS FUCK they really paid Natasha dust, huh? she led the Avengers for 5 fucking years!!! she sacrificed her life to save the world!!! and she had such a traumatizing fucking past!!! yet she doesn’t even get a funeral? no references in the battle? huh? #blackwidow

    *SPOILER* Black Widow's death is so upsetting. All she had in life was the Avengers. We didn't get to see her funeral. She never got to experience a life outside of the Avengers. Not seeing her in the Marvel women scene was heartbreaking. But they were only there because of her.

    i hope the black widow movie is about natasha ghost haunting those fuckers for not giving her funeral

    In addition, a report published not long after Endgame's release claimed that Black Widow had less screen time (33 minutes) than characters such as Nebula (41 minutes) and Rocket (36 minutes), despite being one of the original Avengers.

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    The report continued to claim that other women in the movie received small amounts of screen time, too, with Captain Marvel, Valkyrie, and Okoye receiving 15 minutes or less. Unsurprisingly, Captain America and Iron Man allegedly received the most: 1 hour, 6 minutes and 1 hour, 2 minutes respectively.

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    Ben Henry is a celebrity reporter for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ben Henry at ben.henry@buzzfeed.com.

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