It’s hard to pinpoint what drives a series’ ratings, but what isn’t difficult to nail down: when something is not working. And the evidence suggests Disney’s lazy Pride pandering is failing to draw fans to “Loki.” In fact, it may be pushing them away.
In the third episode, which Marvel execs have been trumpeting as proof of the franchise’s LGBTQ bona fides, Loki’s female love interest says of his romantic history, “You’re a prince. Must’ve been would-be-princesses. Or perhaps, another prince?” To which Loki replies, “A bit of both — I suspect the same as you.”
That’s it. That is the full extent of the discussion of the trickster god’s sexual preferences.
Yet, on this basis, director Kate Herron tweeted, “From the moment I joined [the Loki production] it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual. It is a part of who he is and who I am too. I know this is a small step but I’m happy, and heart is so full, to say that this is now Canon in #mcu.”
Duly following their marching orders, legacy media outlets like USA Today and CBS immediately began blaring, “Tom Hiddleston’s Loki confirmed as Marvel’s first bisexual lead character” and “Loki confirmed as bisexual in show’s third episode: becomes first major queer character in Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
If there’s one thing both Christians and LGBTQ activists ought to be able to agree on, it’s how embarrassingly obvious this kind of coordinated PR stunt is. And it appears many of them do.
Loki’s premiere scored record ratings for Disney+, drawing 890,000 households, which third-party tracking company, Samba TV, said was “the largest US premiere-day audience for any of Marvel’s Disney+ shows.” It went on to say, “Clearly, the growing number of households tuning in on Day 1 proves that the Marvel Disney+ series are growing in momentum.”
Until, that is, they weren’t.
Flash forward two weeks, and Samba reports that the show experienced a significant drop-off in viewership to only 727,000 between that episode and the third when all the “queer representation” headlines hit.
Specialty comic book outlet, Bounding into Comics, highlights search term analyses from Google Trends that suggests the decrease isn’t just waning interest in a new product but a steep, ideologically-driven exodus:
Not only is Samba TV showing a decline in viewership for “Loki,” but as YouTuber Heel vs Babyface points out, the series is also seeing a decline on Google Trends. He states, “On Google Trends, first episode pretty high, second episode even stayed relatively high, and the projection on the third episode is that this show has just fallen off a cliff in interest.”
As for why he believes the show is falling off a cliff, Heel vs Babyface states, “It’s very, very obvious to see why. Because Marvel, Disney, whichever way you want to put it, are hiring selfish, self-absorbed, narcissistic activists, who can’t see past skin, who can’t see past sexuality, who must force their politics into the show.”
This tracks with evidence that “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” also saw a ratings slide when it sought to retrofit left-wing, BLM messaging into Falcon’s storyline. Marvel’s core constituency — young men (and China) — doesn’t care about identity politics. Inserting it into entertainment that should provide a respite from culture wars is likely to drive them away.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.