Marvel actor Jonathan Majors faces one year in jail
Jonathan Majors, a major name with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), faces one year in jail for the assault on his former girlfriend and choreographer, Grace Jabbari, in March. Jabbari sustained serious injuries from the assault, including a fractured finger, bruising, a cut behind her ear, and what she described as excruciating pain. The assault occurred after Jabbari saw texts on Majors’ phone from another woman. Majors had been emotionally abusive and had engaged in manipulative behaviour, threatening to kill himself a year previously if Jabbari threatened to leave him.
Majors was set to play the role of Kang the Conqueror in the highly anticipated Avengers: Kang Dynasty, after having made appearances in Ant-Man: Quantomania and both season 1 and 2 of the critical acclaimed Loki.
It came as incredibly shocking news when headlines broke about the assault. It is dividing fans of Majors and of the MCU, who had come to love the actor for his few, but fantastic appearances in Marvel projects. Majors had also starred in Creed 3 -the Rocky Balboa spin-off – and HBO’s Lovecraft Country.
Following the allegations of assault, Majors was arrested on 25th March in New York City. The claims were of choking, assault and harassment. Jabbari also quickly filed a restraining order against Majors. In June, Majors struck back against his former partner by claiming that she was the aggressor and that he was left bloodied and ran to a hotel to hide from her. Majors’ legal team provided video evidence of Jabbari attacking Majors shortly after the discovery that he was having an affair.
Jabbari turned herself in to the police in New York on 25th October. One day later, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced it had no intention of pursuing the charges against Jabbari. A month later Majors’ trial began which ended on 18th December.
On 13th December, the judge in the case released large quantities of evidence which strongly demonstrated that Majors was the instigator of the incident. Furthermore, evidence demonstrated that Majors had attempted to persuade Jabbari not to get treated for her injuries as it could lead to an investigation but also suggested Jabbari should seek treatment because an investigation could damage his reputation. Majors claimed he was a role model for Black culture.
On 18th December, the former star was dropped by Marvel. The company had waited nine months for the verdict before announcing their decision. Few at Marvel had spoken out in defence of Majors, with only Captain America star Anthony Mackie commenting on the situation in July:
“We’re a country that was built on ‘everyone is innocent until proven guilty.’ That’s one of the staples of this country. Nothing has been proven about this dude. Nothing. So everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That’s all I can say. It’s crazy where we are as a society. But as a country. everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”
Marvel has now decided, given the verdict, that Major’s character, Kang, will no longer be featured in the next Avengers’ film. The company has made no statement justifying why they remained loyal to Majors, even when evidence existed of assault and emotional manipulation. They kept Majors’ character in the works for future projects.
Jabbari, following the trial, posted to her Instagram a link to ‘Sanctuary for Families.’ The organisation is a charity for domestic abuse, and she encouraged her followers to donate to this organisation.
Majors is due to face a short term in jail, although his legal team continues to assert that he will fight to have the verdict overturned. Perhaps Majors was right in his assertion that he was a role model for the Black community. But he has now become a reverse role model, reminding even famous men that they cannot use threats and violence to control and intimidate their partners.