'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Is The Latest Hollywood Movie To Scrap Plans For A Gay Character

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the latest film to blow an opportunity to put a gay character in a mainstream movie.)

Welp, it's happened again. Another major Hollywood blockbuster has cut a reference to a LGBTQ character's sexuality. The latest culprit? Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, in which Daniella Pineda's character was originally meant to be gay. Read more about her deleted scene below.

Fans Almost Saw a Gay Character in Jurassic World

In Fallen Kingdom, Pineda plays Dr. Zia Rodriguez, a paleo-veterinarian who works with Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) in the Dinosaur Protection Group. Along with a tech guru named Franklin Webb (Justice Smith), Zia accompanies Claire and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to Isla Nublar to try to save the surviving dinosaurs from an impending volcano eruption. But we almost got a look into a different aspect of Zia's character.

ScreenCrush points us to a recent interview Pineda participated in with AOL Build, in which the actress described a sequence that didn't make it into the final cut. Pineda explained that during a scene in which Zia and Chris Pratt's Owen are riding in a military vehicle with mercenaries, Zia references the fact that she's gay – but apparently the scene ended up getting cut for time.

"I look at Chris and I'm like: 'Yeah, square jaw, good bone structure, tall, muscles. I don't date men, but if I did, it would be you. It would gross me out, but I'd do it.' I love that I'm looking at Chris Pratt, the hottest guy in the world, and I'm like, 'It would gross me out, but I guess I would do it!' It was also cool, because it was a little insight into my character. But they cut it."

Sounds like co-writers Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow deserve a little credit for crafting Zia to be a richer character than what ended up on screen. The language in the deleted scene sounds slightly troubling in Pineda's recounting, but having seen the film, Zia is pretty quick-witted and she jokingly refers to Owen as "beefcake" at one point, so I think/hope this would have been just another joke on her part designed to throw him off his game a bit.

An Embarrassing Trend

I'm really sick of hearing stories about filmmakers' good intentions that were conveniently thwarted at the last minute. It happened with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther – and that's just off the top of my head.

When will a major studio have the guts to finally step up and actually reference a gay character's sexuality in a mainstream blockbuster? Hollywood likes to think of itself as a progressive, forward-thinking industry, but nonsense like this proves how the people at the top are stuck in embarrassingly dated ways of thinking.

What exactly are they scared of? This quick banter sounds like it would have lasted about 10 seconds of screen time. And in Universal's minds, that would have, what – scared off conservative audiences? Not sat well with international audiences? Gimme a break. Until these studios finally get the message, we're going to keep banging the drum: representation matters.

You know that feeling of seeing someone who looks like you or sexually identifies like you on screen and realizing the movie is positioning that person as being a cool character? (If you're a white guy, the answer is yes.) I'm not trying to say I could run a film studio better than anyone who currently holds that position, but it's increasingly clear that these entertainment companies should prioritize giving wider groups of people that connective feeling. You never know – it could be a step toward recapturing some of the audience that's slowly deciding it might not be worth their time and money to see movies in the theater anymore.

You can read our own interview with Pineda from Fallen Kingdom's set right here. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theaters on June 22, 2018.