GLAAD praises Brian Tyree Henry’s role as the MCU’s first openly gay hero

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This is a big weekend in the world of entertainment on all fronts. In the world of sports, Kamaru Usman will battle Colby Covington for the UFC Welterweight Championship at Madison Square Garden. In the world of music, Summer Walker delivered her sophomore album and Kendrick Lamar popped back up with a verse on Terrace Martin‘s new album. Rounding things out, Halle Berry‘s Bruised has debuted on Netflix and viewers are sharing their thoughts on Idris Elba and Regina King‘s The Harder They Fall. With all of that going on, one thing stands above the rest.

Following the success of Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, Marvel has returned with its biggest film of the year, Eternals. This film will not only mark the Marvel debut of Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao, but it also introduces the MCU’s first openly gay superhero, Phastos. Played by Atlanta‘s Brian Tyree Henry, Phastos is “an unmatched genius and inventor,” a husband to Ben and a father to his son, Jack. He plays an integral role in the next phase of the MCU and he’s already won major support from GLAAD.

“GLAAD is a frequent advisor to Disney’s Studio on LGBTQ representation and inclusion in their films, and Eternals was no exception. During the premiere screening of Eternals, I will never forget hearing the entire theater erupt into clapping and cheering when Phastos and Ben finally kissed. It is clear that this is what audiences have been waiting for,” GLAAD Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis Megan Townsend wrote in an op-ed published by Variety.

Eternals marks a new path forward for Marvel – expanding the idea of who can be a hero in a way not yet seen in film, especially at the scale or budget of an MCU project. Moreover, the announced plans for the MCU’s future seem to make it clear that introducing heroes who look and love more like those in the world they defend is a sustained focus for the studio moving forward.”

Eternals opened up on November 5 and will be available to moviegoers for weeks to come. Thus far, Deadline reports that the film has outpaced Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings and Black Widow at international box offices during its first two days in theaters. Experts expect that trend to continue moving forward.

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