The image above was created from gathering all of the significant named characters from released Marvel Studios movies as documented on the Marvel Movies wikia.
It’s pretty sad. As you can see, only 22% of the characters are women and half of them are love interests. There are over twice as many supporting characters who are men than women (and none of them function as love interests like the women do.) 84% of the characters are white.
60% of the characters are white men, including all the main characters
77%of the characters are men
76% of the men are white
81% of the characters (both genders) are white
All of the women are white
Allof the characters of color are men
None of the characters are women of color
Out of all the films, Thor probably does the best in introducing diverse side characters. Natalie Portman and Kat Denning’s characters pass the Bechdel test within the first five minutes, and some of the Asgardians are played by people of color including Idris Elba’s Heimdall and Tabano Asano’s Hogun. Four white women characters are introduced instead of the other films’ average of one or two. But even then, there’s no question that the main characters of the film are Thor and his brother Loki.
Marvel is working off of decades of existing properties that for years solely focused on white men and a the demographic market of white men. So it makes sense that many of the films would have an abundance of white male characters. Beyond ratios, what doesn’t make sense is that even in the comics there is also an abundance of characters of color, etc. that they are ignoring or underutilizing. There are already five completed films where the titular character is a white man, with more to come. There are no films in the works where the titular character is a person of color or a woman.
Women made up at least 40% of the audience of The Avengers, yet only one out of the six Avengers–Black Widow–was a woman. Women also made up 40% of attendees at this year’s ComicCon. Why, given the scarcity of female heroic leads in the existing Marvel films, did Marvel choose to announce the addition of several more male characters but only one new female character?