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X-Men '97's creator opens up about how Pulse & other real-world tragedies inspired the latest episode

X-Men '97's creator opens up about how Pulse & other real-world tragedies inspired the latest episode

xmen 97 fired creator beau demayo says season 1 episode 5 remember it inspired by Pulse nightclub shooting Orlando Florida
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney; Disney+; Shutterstock

Beau DeMayo has broken his silence on social media and is giving insight to the creation of the popular animated series.

Editor‘s note: this article includes spoilers for season 1, episode 5 of X-Men ‘97, “Remember It.”

Embattled X-Men ‘97 creator Beau DeMayo, who was fired by Marvel shortly before the series premiered earlier this year, has broken his social media silence about the show, talking about the series‘ latest episode “Remember It.”

In the fifth episode of the first season of X-Men ‘97, Magneto was declared the leader of Genosha, the mutant nation, and had invited Rogue to rule the island alongside him, only for a Wild Sentinel to appear, murdering dozens, perhaps hundreds, of mutants.

Among those who died were Madelyne Prior, Magneto, and Gambit, who sacrificed himself to take down the Sentinel. It was a game changing episode of television, and one that viewers have reacted strongly to. Now, DeMayo has spoken out about the episode, openly talking about the show for the first time since he was fired.

“Episode 5 was the centerpiece of my pitch to Marvel in November 2020,” he revealed. “The idea being to have the X-Men mirror the journey that any of us who grew up on the original show have experienced since being kids in the 90s.”

“The world was a seemingly safer place for us, where a character like Storm would comment on how skin-based racism was “quaint” in One Man’s Worth. For the most part, to our young minds, the world was a simple place of right and wrong, where questions about identity and social justice had relatively clear cut answers,” he continued. “Then 9/11 happened, and the world turned against itself.”

DeMayo said that 9/11 was also important to him personally, as it was when he came out as gay to his family “and realized not everyone would accept me.” He also started becoming more aware of the everyday racism he faced. All these rapid changes left him feeling unsure and stagnant.

“But if events like 9/11, Tulsa, Charlottesville, or Pulse Nightclub teach us anything, it’s that too many stories are often cut far too short,” he added. “I partied at Pulse. It was my club. I have so many great memories of its awesome white lounge. It was, like Genosha, a safe space for me and everyone like me to dance and laugh and be free. I thought about this a lot when crafting this season and this episode, and how the gay community in Orlando rose to heal from that event.”

DeMayo teased that now that the X-Men have been “hit hard by the realities of an adult and unsafe world,” they’ll have to figure out how to react, and whether that means finding justice, or finding healing.

The next episode of X-Men ‘97 premieres on Disney+ on April 17.

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