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Stephen Colbert shames Marvel for genderswapping a villain

"The Late Show" host mocks Marvel's position that toys of its superhero and villain characters won't sell as well if they're female. "Jessica Jones" star Krysten Ritter adds, "Girls can sell toys!"


After seeing Marvel's latest superhero blockbuster film, "Captain America: Civil War," self-proclaimed geek and talk show host Stephen Colbert noticed something rather disturbing during the movie.

"The Marvel Cinematic universe is kind of a sausage fest," Colbert told "The Late Show" audience on May 18. (Disclosure: "The Late Show" runs on CBS, parent company of CNET.)

Colbert revealed during his show that the villain Aldrich Killian in "Iron Man 3" was originally supposed to be a woman, but according to the movie's screenwriter and director Shane Black, Marvel gave a mandate to change the gender to male to sell more toys.

Colbert referred to an interview with Black who told Uproxx, "We had a female character who was the villain in the draft. We had finished the script and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and we've changed our minds because, after consulting, we've decided that toy won't sell as well if it's a female."

"We had to change the entire script because of toy making," Black continued. "Now, that's not (producer) Kevin Feige. That's Marvel corporate."

Of course, Colbert mocked Marvel's rationale saying, "It makes sense; girls don't play with dolls."

Watch this video to see what Colbert has to say about Marvel's decision to genderswap and why "back in the '80s, we weren't so hung up on the gender of our Hollywood action figures."

Even "Jessica Jones" actor Krysten Ritter had a few choice words for her Marvel bosses who don't believe female superhero toys are profitable.

"Girls can sell toys!" Ritter said on "The Late Show," on May 21. "I don't know if there is (a Jessica Jones toy) yet but there should be. I bet it would sell huge. I'm gonna make some phone calls after this."

Marvel did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Black's reported statement.