X-Men ’97 creator/head writer Beau DeMayo has finally spoken about the Marvel animated series, just as the recently debuted Episode 5 is universally acclaimed on all fronts.

DeMayo, who was recently fired by Disney over dubious reasons, returned to social media and has spoken about the series‘ fifth episode on X. While he didn’t talk about his exit per se, he did expound more on the themes explored in the episode regarding the attack on mutants in Genosha, leading to Gambit’s death.

“Lotta questions so I’ll momentarily break my silence to answer,” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “Episode 5 was the centerpiece of my pitch to Marvel in November 2020. The idea being to have the X-Men mirror the journey that many of us grew up on the original show have experienced since being kids in the 90s. The world was a seemingly safer place for us, where a character like Storm would comment on how skin-based racism was quaint’ [original series Season 4 premiere] One Man’s Worth.”

“For the most part, to our young minds, the world was a simple place of right and wrong, where questions about identity and social justice had relatively clear cut answers,” he continued, adding that his view of life changed after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

“Things weren’t so safe anymore. Grassroots populist movements began to rise around the world as a whole nation struggled to deal with collective trauma and fracture at the seams of every diverse demographic,” he continued. “The effects we still feel today, and have only been exacerbated by more collective traumas like COVID or several recessions.”

“For me personally, 9/11 was also when I came out of the closet to my family and realized not everyone would accept me,” he wrote. “It’s when I entered college and noticed that certain groups avoided me, or that a Supercuts in Tallahassee refused to service me because they didn’t do ‘ethnic haircuts.’ Reality–as Jubilee found in episode 4–got very real and very scary. This happened to many people. We had kids and got jobs with high stakes. Suddenly, it wasn’t enough for us to survive. We had responsibilities, and people whose survival depended upon us meeting those responsibilities. We were growing up.”

He continued, saying how episodes of the original series comforted him and others through those tough times and future tough times like during the pandemic. He also added how it’s dangerous to live in a world “clinging to nostalgia.”

Gambit’s death was calculated to show just how senseless violence is. DeMayo wrote, “Yes, it looked like Gambit’s story was going in a specific direction. The crop top was chosen to make you love him. Him pulling off his shirt was intentional. There’s a reason he told Rogue any fool would suffer her hand in a dance, even if it ended up not being him suffering. But if events like 9/11, Tulsa, Charlottesville, or Pulse Nightclub teach us anything, it’s that too many stories are often cut far too short.”

“I partied at Pulse. It was my club. I have so many great memories of its awesome white lounge,” he continued. “It was, like Genosha, a safe space for me and everyone like me to dance and laugh and be free. I thought about this a lot when crafting this season and this episode, and how the gay community in Orlando rose to heal from that event.”

DeMayo’s exit from the series has made fans up in arms as there’s some speculation about if Disney fired him because of his openness about his sexuality. As Entertainment Weekly reports, the firing also comes despite DeMayo saying he was working on the second series. Marvel Studios’ animation, streaming and television head Brad Winderbaum told Entertainment Weekly that the best ay to describe the exit is “We parted ways.” He also said he couldn’t discuss the details of the exit, but added, “I can say that Beau had real respect and passion for these characters and wrote what I think are excellent scripts that really the rest of the team were able to draw inspiration from [to] build this amazing show that’s on screen.”