Is Agent Jasper Sitwell’s lack of popularity is a combination of bad luck and unappealing characterisation, or was it influenced by racial bias?
When Sitwell was killed off in Captain America: The Winter Soldier
, it was clear that his character arc had many similarities to that of Agent Coulson, who was resurrected following the hugely popular #CoulsonLives
campaign. But a week and a half after Sitwell’s death, his equivalent fan campaign, #IBelieveInSitwell
, is not exactly taking off.
So, why does everyone love Coulson so much more than Sitwell? What makes them so different?
I’m not entirely sure I buy into the author’s logic here. If you read the full article, yes, admittedly, Ward is white while Sitwell was Hispanic. However, on the other hand, all that we’ve seen of Sitwell in his brief on-screen appearances is that he’s played by an actor who is, let’s face it, not exactly a cover model - the guy’s a little dumpy, bald, wears grandpa glasses, etc.
Moreover, we’ve seen nothing of him other than his SHIELD work. Unlike Ward or Coulson, he was portrayed with no love interests or moral causes that he stood up for. Instead he’s shown commiserating with a sleazy (note: white) Senator about seducing a young female voter, and then selling out the Hydra cause when threatened in <i>The Winter Soldier.</i>.
If Sitwell had actually been developed as a character outside of this — and unfortunately, he hadn’t been — then I think there would be more outcry over his untimely death. Cast an updated Antonio Banderas as a MAoS character and give the guy an on-screen relationship that fans can root for, and I think you’d see a lot more outcry if/when he turns out to be evil or dies.
I’m white and I am heartbroken that Sitwell died. Especially that he died a traitor. I’m all for bringing him back with a great comic book type twist. I don’t think Sitwell’s death had anything to do with him being Hispanic, they needed an established SHIELD agent that we would instantly recognize and then think “omg, if Sitwell was one of them, then anyone could be a Hydra agent!”. If Coulson had survived the Avengers, then chances are, he’d have been the one to die in this movie.
Why isn’t there a bigger outcry? I guess because there’s a smaller portion of the MCU fandom that mourns his death. Coulson’s fandom was practically the entire MCU fandom while Sitwell has a smaller fandom. I’d really hate to think that there’s that much racism in the MCU fandom.
Ward — who I really want to die a traitor’s death — is an established character that they’ve built up to have a solid fanbase and then pulled the rug out from under them. Look at all the good deeds he did and then… oops! Did we forget to say he’s a bad guy? And his fans, especially those who ship him with Skye — who should also die in a fire — are not going to take this sitting down.