Benedict Wong Defends Doctor Strange 2’s Xochitl Gomez Against Internet Trolls
Actor Benedict Wong has spoken out in support of Xochitl Gomez, his 16-year-old Doctor Strange in the Multiverse co-star who has been the focus of internet trolls’ rage for her portraying America Chavez–a gay character in the MCU. Speaking with AsiaOne, Wong came to her defense.
“It’s not okay. It’s not okay,” said Wong. “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 of a film of that magnitude. You know, she’s just a young girl playing her role and full praise for that.”
Wong added that internet trolls “are cowards not to actually put their face [out there], and they should feel a deep shame of what they’re doing. Let’s just play nice.”
Recently, the film made headlines when Disney refused to cut “LGBTQ references” for Saudi Arabia censors–which, in late April, caused the film to be denied a distribution certificate in the country. It’s not known how prominently America Chavez will feature in the film overall.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is only the second Doctor Strange movie, and has the longest gap in MCU history for six years between films. Former Spider-Man director Sam Raimi directs a script written by Michael Waldron (Loki, Rick and Morty).
Wong has played the sorcerer Wong since the original “Doctor Strange” in 2016. He went on to reprise the character in several MCU films, including the recent record-breaking “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”