Queer Marvel TV series was cancelled because it was ‘too gay’, showrunner claims

Two superheroes, one holding a squirrel

Marvel’s superhero sitcom New Warriors was dropped because bosses thought it was “too gay” for TV, its showrunner has claimed.

The live action series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was greenlit in 2017 by Disney-owned TV studio Freeform, and went as far as casting main characters and filming a pilot.

Its stars were billed as “six super-powered young people with abilities very different from the Avengers who want to make a positive impact in the world, even if they are not quite ready to be heroes”.

The show promised the debut of Squirrel Girl (Milana Vayntrub), as well as Mister Immortal (Derek Theler), Night Thrasher (Jeremy Tardy), Speedball (Calum Worthy), Microbe (Matthew Moy), and Debrii (Kate Comer).

But despite the pilot’s positive response at test screenings, Freeform dropped New Warriors stating that there wasn’t room for it in the schedule.

According to showrunner Kevin Biegel, the real reason the ill-fated show was dropped was because it was just “too gay”.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday (8 September), Biegel said: “There’s a show we wrote a few years ago. It was very proudly gay. A singular power that be killed the show. Because it was too gay. A rich, straight, Brentwood turd. He got fired for being vile at his company. We, on the other hand, live. #NewWarriors.”

He continued: “I have nights where I can’t fall asleep because I get so mad we couldn’t have characters say stuff like this,” sharing a quote from the script in which a character describes herself as “Black. Queer. Powered.”

Biegel also shared previously-unseen material from behind the scenes, including clips of Squirrel Girl actor Milana Vayntrub filming the pilot, footage of her squirrel sidekick (using puppetry rather than CGI), and numerous photos of the ensemble cast.

The showrunner deleted the tweets the following day, but in a later post he clarified that the unnamed executive wasn’t Jeph Loeb, the prolific Marvel producer who was accused of racism on Netflix‘s Iron Fist.

PinkNews reached out to Marvel for comment. A spokesperson said Biegel’s claims were not accurate and Marvel was “fully supportive of the show”.

“After the originally planned network decided not to move forward, other distributors passed, and the show did not move forward,” they said.