Stargazing

‘Avengers’ star Mark Ruffalo asks Marvel for more Black Widow merchandise for girls

Mark Ruffalo arrives at a special screening of Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" at the SVA Theatre on Tuesda, in New York.
Mark Ruffalo arrives at a special screening of Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" at the SVA Theatre on Tuesda, in New York. Associated Press

Mark Ruffalo is our new superhero after tweeting out a plea to Marvel to issue more merchandise for girls.

Ruffalo plays the Hulk in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” debuting this week. On Tuesday night he sent out this tweet to the powers-that-be at Marvel after noticing that the company excluded Scarlett Johansson’s tough assassin/spy character, Black Widow, from much of the movie’s T-shirts and toys:

Fans quickly embraced the cause, starting a #Where'sNatasha Twitter hashtag, a reference to Black Widow’s alter ego Natasha Romanov.

Fans have also started a petition at Change.org, signed by 618 people as of Wednesday night.

“Black Widow has appeared in four Marvel films so far, yet Black Widow merchandise for is nearly impossible to find – particularly action figures and play accessories for children,” says the petition.

“Toy sets, clothing and other Avengers-branded merchandise consistently omit Black Widow, even while including minor characters such as War Machine and Hawkeye.

“Leaving all female characters out of toy lines deprives girls of the ability to role play as their hero. Worse, omitting female characters from all merchandise aimed at boys reinforces the false narrative that it is wrong to look up to women; that women are never the hero of the story; and that girls are unimportant and can be ignored.

“We want Marvel to become the hero that our girls deserve by giving them the same access to the imaginative superheroic toys, clothing and merchandise that boys have. And we want Marvel to use their position of influence to show boys that women can be heroes as well.”

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