By James Murphy
Streaming service Disney+ has hired a prominent Chicago Area drag queen to appear in a new superhero show aimed at youngsters. 33-year-old Jaren Kyei Merrell, known better by his stage name Shea Couleé, will be a part of the new show Ironheart, a part of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with the show set to begin streaming next year.
Ironheart will focus on a teenage superhero who creates a suit similar to the one in Ironman.
Couleé is a former winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality show featuring men dressed as oversexualized women competing for money and prizes such as cosmetics. The new hire would seem to be a part of Disney’s new “woke” agenda and what Disney executive producer Latoya Raveneau referred to as a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” committed to “adding queerness” to programming intended for children.
“Everyone at Marvel has been so unbelievably open and receptive to my experiences and my expertise about drag,” Merrell told E! News. “And they’ve allowed me to really come in to the MCU and put my very specific Shea Coulee print on the Marvel Universe.”
“It’s really so humbling to be able to crossover into a much more mainstream avenue, and push the needle forward as far as drag is concerned, in the way that it’s consumed and in pop culture,” Merrell said. “I’m so deeply excited for everyone to see what this role is, what it entails and everything it is.”
Merrell doesn’t appear to see the show as strictly entertainment for children, but as a means of cultural change, as well.
“It’s going to be really impactful,” he said. “It’s going to be so smart and creative and clever and funny, and sexy. And so, so, so, so Chicago.”
At least Merrell is honest. He freely admits that “sexy” is being peddled to children via the series.
I had SO MUCH fun on set today. Acting in a Marvel series?! 10/10 would recommend 👌🏾
— Shea Couleé (@SheaCoulee) August 12, 2022
There is speculation that Merrell may portray a character known as “Shade,” a transgender superhero introduced by Marvel in 2019, but that has not been confirmed.
Disney became embroiled in “woke” controversy after far left staff criticized management for not being vocal enough in opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which the LGBTQ community referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Fearful of “woke” activism directed at its brand, the company, which in previous generations was known for its wholesome family content, quickly pivoted and became fierce opponents of the legislation and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“Thank you to all who have reached out to me sharing your pain, frustration and sadness over the company’s response to the Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek wrote to employees. “Speaking to you, reading your messages, and meeting with you have helped me better understand how painful our silence was.”
Disney also appears to be going back on a 2019 pledge not to show R-rated material on the Disney+ platform. In July, the platform featured Deadpool, Deadpool 2, and Logan — all R-rated movies.
The phrase “Get woke, go broke” appears to be affecting Disney. Its much-anticipated animated effort, Lightyear, based on the “Buzz Lightyear” character from the beloved Toy Story series of films, has struggled to meet expectations at the box office.
Lightyear moved on from the actor who created the character, Tim Allen, a rare Hollywood conservative, in favor of leftist actor Chris Evans, who starred as Captain America in the MCU.
Lightyear features a kiss between two lesbian characters and, not surprisingly, the movie has struggled at the box office to even make up its $200 million budget.
Evans has referred to people that might resist such LGBTQ propaganda as “idiots.”
“The real truth is those people are idiots,” Evans said, adding that people concerned about propagandizing same-sex relationships to children will “die off like dinosaurs.”
Evans may think (or hope) that people who don’t want the gay agenda being aimed at children are “idiots,” but they are also theater goers. Disney’s preoccupation with pushing LGBTQ ideology is a cultural decision, not a business decision. And it may have increasingly negative effects on “the Magic Kingdom” in the near future.