The MCU continues its downward trend, which is reflected in the box office, with the release of Black Widow as it's learned Robert Downey Jr. and members of The Avengers were dropped from the movie simply because they are male characters.
Recall WandaVision also dropped the use of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange simply because Marvel didn't want to show a male character helping out a female character.
Black Widow is more of the same, and also recall I called it almost two years ago that Taskmaster would be a female in the movie, which of course is due to woke Marvel replacing original male characters with woke characters for the purpose of political correctness.
A writer and the director of Black Widow confirms the changes.
Regarding Robert Downey Jr., I'm also betting that Marvel didn't want to pay the actor big bucks for a cameo, so instead of using Tony Stark, Marvel went with William Hurt's Thaddeus Ross coming after Natasha for violating the Sokovia Accords.
"I do remember now that one version of the script, prior to me, literally had written into it the end moment of Civil War with Tony and Natasha," screenwriter Eric Pearson told the Phase Zero podcast, where EW.com notes it is referring to the scene after the big airport battle when Tony tells Natasha, "I'm not the one who needs to watch their back."
Black Widow doesn't need the boys
And regarding not using male characters and The Avengers, director Cate Shortland told Total Film that Kevin Feige agreed to leave them out.
"Initially, there was discussions about everything, about all of the different characters," said Shortland. "What we decided was, and I think Kevin was really great, he said, 'She doesn't need the boys.' We didn't want it to feel like she needs the support. We want her to stand alone. And she does."
So we see Marvel sacrificed the story for the sake of wokeness, as obviously including Robert Downey Jr. and some of The Avengers would have made sense and not only helped with the story but more than likely helped the movie's box office success, which again is lackluster for a Marvel film.
Female Taskmaster is better than the comic book version
Olga Kurylenko, who plays the female Taskmaster in the movie, also recently said her character is maybe even stronger than the original male character from the comics that was created in 1980 and that it doesn't matter if things get swapped (via Bounding Into Comics):
“You see, it does fit the story. I was concentrating on this story,” she said about how the gender swap fits with the story and then added, “The decision (character changes) wasn’t made by me and as far as I’m concerned, I was happy for that decision, of course, because it involves me and it’s so much fun... Well, I understand that they swapped gender, but I think it’s irrelevant really whether the character is a female or male because who cares? She’s just as strong and maybe even stronger. It’s not about what gender you are. It’s about what your capabilities are, what you can do, how well you do what you’re supposed to do. And if you’re excellent at it, it doesn’t matter who you are."
Also, don't forget Marvel and Scarlett Johansson marketed and promoted the flick as woke.