According to The Independent, despite releasing a number of “multi-million dollar blockbusters that have recently overtaken Hollywood,” Marvel’s comic book sales have been dropping.
David Gabriel addressed this at Marvel’s Retailer summit a few days ago, telling ICV2, “what we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.”
“I don’t know that that’s really true,” he continued. “But that’s what we saw in sales. We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against.”
Following ICV2’s publication of its article on the topic, Gabriel’s words caused quite a stir online.
“Gabriel’s point is bullshit,” wrote Gizmodo’s Beth Elderkin. “It shelves blame onto the readers and blatantly ignores a lot of other reasons Marvel Comics are doing terribly.”
SJW Twitter users also weighed in, with predictable results.
Following the backlash, David Gabriel allegedly reached out to ICV2 and asked to clarify his statement.
“We have also been hearing from stores that welcome and champion our new characters and titles and want more,” he declared in a complete 180-spin. “They’ve invigorated their own customer base and helped them grow their stores because of it. So we’re getting both sides of the story and the only upcoming change we’re making is to ensure we don’t lose focus of our core heroes.”