100% That Witch

No, Joe Locke isn’t reinforcing stereotypes in “Agatha All Along”

The new trailer for Marvel’s upcoming series Agatha All Along gave us the first glimpse of Heartstopper star Joe Locke as a goth, gay witch. Though Marvel has yet to confirm his character’s name, fans are convinced he’ll be playing Billy Kaplan, aka Wiccan, a fan favorite from the comics. Kaplan is one of Marvel’s most prominent queer superheroes, so casting an out gay actor like Locke to play him would only make sense.

Though the trailer is more focused on the series’ leading ladies — Kathyrn Hahn, Aubrey Plaza, and Patti LuPone, a trio seeming handpicked to bring in the gays — it does feature a few starring moments for Locke, like a sneak peek at his character’s style (skinny jeans, earrings, black nail polish, etc.) and one extremely gay gasp.

It’s that gasp that’s sparked a wave of discourse on social media. When one viral post shared the clip with the caption, “HE IS SO F*CKING GAY” — in a complimentary way, of course — some people took it as a chance to speak ill of flamboyant gay characters. Portraying Kaplan as feminine “does a disservice to his character,” they wrote, and that the show’s audience is “being fed stereotypes.”

But plenty of others came to Locke’s defense, saying that plenty of femme gay men exist, and they deserve representation in media like Marvel shows, too. “Some gay men act like this,” reads one viral post. “Sorry if it’s giving the masc 4 masc bros a bad rep but get a grip.”

If people were purely critiquing the inaccuracy of the adaptation, that would be one thing. But instead, they’re critiquing the mere existence of femme gay representation. (Besides, other Marvel fans said they always interpreted Kaplan as a bit flamboyant to begin with, citing his love for Sailor Moon and quick-witted sass.)

And let’s not forget that this criticism is all based on a single gasp from the trailer. We have yet to hear Locke even deliver a line of dialogue, so his full take on the character is still anyone’s guess. If his interpretation does turn out to be a “stereotypical” gay man, all the better — femme guys deserve to be superheroes, too.

Agatha All Along premieres with two episodes on Disney+ on September 18. Check out the trailer below.

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