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Things We Saw Today: ‘She-Hulk’ World Premiere Features Anti-Homeless Hostile Architecture

Yikes on spikes.

She-Hulk poster cropped with her sitting on a bench. Image: Marvel Entertainment.

On August 15, at the Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Marvel’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Disney+ series launched its world premiere ahead of the its streaming premiere on August 18. While the initial conversation surrounded the vibrant purple carpet and outfits of the cast, online, people took a second look at the promotional bench that features bars to prevent people from comfortably sitting or reclining. This type of anti-homeless/anti-houseless architecture is called hostile design.

https://twitter.com/ratatatvandal/status/1559570917579259905?s=20&t=6PL1OwTZyOo-4V855Mye2A

This practice dates back (at least) to the 1800s, but hostile design has rightfully received more critical attention over the years. Benches like these (and worse) are the easiest to recognize. However, other types include spikes on areas people sit, lie, or lean on, including fire hydrants, sidewalks, and overpasses, too. Check out the many examples shared by @hostiledesign on Twitter.

In an episode on in the fall of 2021, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver mentioned hostile architecture and local municipalities playing loud music at night in his episode on houselessness. Just like houseless camp raids happening every day, local municipalities would rather keep houseless people out of the sight than actually help them.

This bench at the premier is the same seen in the poster that Marvel revealed at San-Diego Comic-Con 2022. Some pointed to similar ads for Better Call Saul (or just in show images also from Breaking Bad) utilizing benches but praised the AMC show(s) for not using these benches. These shows were released 7–14 years ago, when this type of architecture was far less common. As for She-Hulk, this was likely a bench repurposed and not used intentionally by Marvel, because this is fairly common now. They are probably just trying to recreate a contemporary city setting, and unfortunately, this is part of it until more people speak up or physically destroy these themselves.

(via Twitter, featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

Here are some other bits of news out there on the internet:

  • Solange became the first Black woman (and third woman ever) to compose an original score for the New York City Ballet. (via Houston Chronicle)
  • Take a look inside The Four Winds a.k.a. the first Indigenous sorority. (via JSTOR Daily)
  • Mothers Against Greg Abbott premiered a viral ad to draw attention to its failed leadership of Abbott, especially after the Ulvade shooting. (via Chron)
  • A Twitter user documented how companies capitalized on domestic abuse to sell products and earn tips. (via Twitter)

What news did you catch today, Mary Suevians?

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(she/her) Award-winning digital artist and blogger with an interest in art, politics, identity, and history—especially when they all come together. This Texan balances book-buying blurs with liberal Libby use.