CAPTAIN AMERICA: NEW WORLD ORDER - Marvel Studios Responds To Backlash About Sabra's Upcoming MCU Debut

There's been a surprising amount of backlash online about Sabra's upcoming MCU debut in Captain America: New World Order, and that's prompted Marvel Studios to respond with a statement about the character.

When Marvel Studios announced that Shira Haas would play Sabra in Captain America: New World Order during D23 last week, the news was met with a collective shrug by comic book fans. It's always exciting to add a new diverse face to the MCU, but the character is a relatively minor one on the page and the news didn't receive the same level of excitement as The Leader's return, for example.

It has, however, generated quite a bit of controversy online. 

As The New York Times explains, there's been a sizeable amount of backlash regarding Marvel Studios' decision to introduce the mutant character who, in the Marvel Universe, is an Israeli police officer-turned-Mossad agent. Why? Well, while Jewish Israelis have responded positively to the casting, Palestinians have hit back with the #CaptainApartheid hashtag.

Marvel Studios has been accused of Zionist propaganda, claiming they're ignoring Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory in 1967. While to Israeli Jews "Sabra" means a person born in Israel, it's also the name of a refugee camp in Lebanon where a Christian militia massacred hundreds of Palestinians while Israeli troops stood by four decades ago.

Now, Marvel Studios has responded, making it clear the hero will be updated for a modern audience. "While our characters and stories are inspired by the comics, they are always freshly imagined for the screen and today’s audience, and the filmmakers are taking a new approach with the character Sabra who was first introduced in the comics over 40 years ago."

In other words, she likely won't be heading into battle with the Star of David around her neck. We're guessing her origin story will also be modernised and can't help but wonder whether the Sabra name will no longer be used (it pretty much took until his TV series for Clint Barton to actually be called "Hawkeye"). 

What are your thoughts on Sabra's planned MCU debut? Hopefully, we'll learn more about her before Captain America: New World Order arrives in theaters on May 3, 2024.

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