Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced this afternoon that actor Tom Holland would be the next actor to play Spider-Man on the big screen. Wired’s Angel Watercutter was ready within hours to bash the decision because…he’s white.
Ms. Watercutter said Tuesday for her piece ‘Your New Spider-Man Is a…Fresh-Faced White Dude. Great’:
When Marvel and Sony announced Spider-Man’s inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe earlier this year, fans got excited that we could see a fresh take on the character, rather than just another fresh-faced white dude. (No offense to fresh-faced white dudes.) In particular, the studio had a chance to shift gears and make the new cinematic Spider-Man not Peter Parker, but Miles Morales—the half-black, half-Latino teenager who wears the Spidey suit in the Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man. The prospect of that was virtually nil (though Morales is taking over as the web-slinger in the comics), but there was still a shot that Peter Parker could be re-imagined.
As for Watts, he’s the latest in a series of young and relatively unknown directors to take on a Marvel property. Sure, Joss Whedon and Kenneth Branagh are big deals, but folks like Thor: The Dark World’s Alan Taylor or Joe and Anthony Russo, who will likely direct Holland in his Parker introduction in Captain America: Civil War, were mostly TV directors before joining Marvel. Those directors have all done good work in the MCU, and there’s no reason to believe Watts won’t as well, but if you were expecting this new Spider-Man flick to be directed by a big-name director (or a woman, or a non-white person), that’s not going to happen this time around.
Just as Brian Michael Bendis believes that white superheroes cannot be for “everybody,” Ms. Watercutter seems to define “fresh take” as “anything but a white guy playing a character who has been white since his inception.” And by “fans” who were excited, she really means “fans who subscribe to Angela Watercutter’s race-obsessed worldview.”
Ms. Watercolor is so obsessed with race that she even laments that the next Spider-Man movie is being directed by a white man. How sad is it when a woman can’t look at anything unless she’s wearing a racial View-Master while simultaneously taking on the role of racial bean counter. “Are there too many white people in this story? Why are there so many white people? Is this justified? If I think it’s justified, then is it truly justified — or is that just my white privilege talking? Raceraceraceraceracerace!”
If you think this is an isolated mindset, then think again. It was only a few months ago that Dan Slott weirdly started referencing Jim Crow laws when fans said that Peter Parker should remain white for his cinematic appearances. It was just days ago that Gawker’s Sam Biddle said “Spider-Man is a fucking dork” because he is a straight white male who does not do drugs or have sex as a high school teenager.
The ideal Peter Parker for Wired and Gawker writers is apparently a popular gay black woman who does copious amounts of drugs while engaging in teen orgies. Classic.
Maybe instead of being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter (or was it Pam?) could snort an arachnid up her nose like a line of cocaine. Maybe that would take away the “fucking dork” status. (If you write for Gawker, then you have to swear because that somehow makes your arguments more valid.)
The one bright spot in all of this is that Stan Lee is speaking up.
Newsarama reported June 22:
“I wouldn’t mind, if Peter Parker had originally been black, a Latino, an Indian or anything else, that he stay that way. But we originally made him white. I don’t see any reason to change that. …
I think the world has a place for gay superheroes, certainly. But again, I don’t see any reason to change the sexual proclivities of a character once they’ve already been established. I have no problem with creating new, homosexual superheroes. It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that. Latino characters should stay Latino. The Black Panther should certainly not be Swiss. I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it’s so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to. Hell, I’ll do it myself.”
But hey, what does Stan Lee know? Until he’s a gay black heroin addict his authority on all things Peter Parker is pretty much zero.