X-Men '97, creator Beau DeMayo was fired on the eve of the show's release on Disney+

Beau DeMayo from behind the scenes to the firing: but what really happened to the creator of the Disney+ show?

Image Credit: Marvel

In early March 2024, Beau DeMayo was in the midst of a particularly hectic period at Marvel Studios. The writer-producer was preparing the launch of X-Men '97, the Disney+ series he created as a sequel to the beloved '90s show for Fox Kids.

DeMayo, already a regular Marvel collaborator who had written for the live-action Moon Knight series and contributed early drafts of the vampire thriller Blade, had completed writing duties for the series' second season. He was organizing promotion and planning to attend the X-Men '97 premiere in Hollywood on March 13. He was even discussing vague ideas for a third season with members of his team. But last week, Marvel and DeMayo suddenly parted ways. His work email was deactivated and the cast and crew were informed that he was no longer a part of the project. DeMayo's Instagram account, previously a source of X-Men updates, has been deleted. No explanation was given for the dismissal.

X-Men '97, why does DeMayo abandon the Marvel project on the eve of the premiere?

Marvel had no comment. Representatives for DeMayo did not return calls and emails to the showrunner went unanswered. This was a surprising event on the eve of the show's March 20 debut. Parting a writer is a normal part of business for Marvel or any production and distribution studio. However, it's unusual for a major creative figure on a Marvel project to skip a premiere or cancel press plans at the last minute, even if they've been sidelined. DeMayo's appointment was announced by Marvel in November 2021 and generated some excitement, as the writer brought his identity as a Black, gay man to the project. He had stressed in interviews how his experience growing up as the adopted child of white parents with a Korean sister had made him particularly close to the X-Men characters and their struggles to be accepted by society.

His silence on social media was notable, considering he was a prolific poster, sharing X-Men news and photos of himself shirtless at the gym. For a time he even ran a non-explicit Only Fans account, which led LGBTQ Out magazine to declare him “the sexy, gay Marvel writer and showrunner to know.” However, social media had proven to be a challenge during the making of the series. In May 2023, DeMayo announced that he would delete his Twitter account, after being attacked by users who accused X-Men '97 of "whitewashing" the character Sunspot by casting Brazilian actor Gui Agustini as him.

X-Men '97 continues the story of X-Men: The Animated Series, which ran from 1992 to 1997 and is credited with introducing a generation of children to the Marvel mutants, setting the stage for the early X-Men films 2000. Several voice actors from the original show are also involved in the animated series, and the nostalgia factor helped make the first trailer the most-watched promo for a Disney+ animated series. DeMayo grew up watching the show. In June 2022, the showrunner said: “Anyone who feels different, we all have a Magneto inside us, and we all have a Charles Xavier. We all have a part of us that wants to destroy everything, and there is a part of us that wants to compromise and build. And those comics really helped me understand my identity."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter