Spider-Man finds himself in the middle of racism row!

The announcement of Spider-Man joining the Marvel cinematic universe was supposed to be a joyous occasion heralding a new era of comic book movies that promise to be the best ones yet. Whilst hat happened to some extent, the speculation about what Marvel will do with their newly acquired hero has brought out an uglier side to Spider-Man.

It all started when current Spider-Man comic book writer Dan Slott offered some comments on the idea of casting a black, or non-white actor as Peter Parker. Please note that it’s important to realise that Slott doesn’t mean that Marvel will have Miles Morales or Miguel O’Hara who are already established non-white Spider-Men in the comic books be Marvel’s titular Spider-Man but he is saying that the Peter Parker could be black or Asian.

“That said, one of the things I’d be interested in seeing is, I hope they make the casting open for everyone. There’s nothing inherently white about Peter Parker. Peter Parker is a nerdy outcast. Anybody, from any walk of life, can be a nerdy outcast. One of the reasons why Spider-Man speaks to everyone around the world is that mask.”

This then led to one hell of a twitter rampage with Dan Slott having a now two-day long argument over whether or not Peter Parker could be anything other than the teenaged brown haired white character we know him as from the comic books and the two previous Spider-Man film franchises.

The changing of a character’s race by casting an actor of a different race is certainly something that has precedent in Hollywood with Scarlett Johansson being cast as the lead in ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and Rooney Mara being cast as Tiger Lily for a Peter Pan remake.

Both of these instances involve a white actor being cast in an ethnic role and were met with almost immediate criticism. So are people right to be annoyed that a white character may be played by an ethnic actor? And does opposing that idea make you a racist, as Dan Slott is suggesting?

Well, I’m going to start off with saying that I am not in favour of casting a non-white Peter Parker and I wouldn’t ordinarily consider myself a racist. What are my reasons for not wanting a non-white Peter Parker? Well they’re the same as the reasons I don’t want a black James Bond or a female Doctor Who.

And that’s simply that that’s not how those characters were created and written and to change their race just to appease political correctness is a massively hollow gesture. Surely Hollywood should be making and promoting films based on the multitude of amazing black characters that exist in all of the world’s literature rather than adapting other characters to tick a box. I also don’t necessarily think it’s a racist thought to want a fictional character to stay the same way that they were when you fell in love with them.

Which brings me to another reason why Peter Parker shouldn’t be black or Asian etc, but Spider-Man could be! I’m obviously suggesting that should Marvel cast a black actor as Spider-Man then they simply should be Miles Morales and not Peter Parker. Why? because Marvel already have a strongly written, well developed and brilliant black Spider-Man in Miles Morales, and to not do a Miles movie, but have a black Peter Parker would be an insult to his character.

At this current stage Miles Morales is my favourite Spider-Man. His comic books have really caught my attention in a way that Peter Parker in Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man hasn’t. Because of this I’m actually one of the people that want Marvel to make Miles Morales their Spider-Man. Or, if they insist on using Peter Parker, they also include Miles Morales as well.

This means that I actually want a black actor to be the cinematic Spider-Man (please note that I don’t want a white actor to play Miles Morales, because Miles Morales is black). Just imagine how infuriating it’ll be for all Miles Morales fans, who like the character because of his diversity, to find out that Marvel have a fantastic black actor to be Spider-Man, but they cast him as Peter Parker instead.

Dan Slott is half right when he says that Peter Parker doesn’t need to be white as his race isn’t as intrinsic to his character motivation like Luke Cage’s for example. However to suggest that Peter Parker hasn’t been defined by his race, history and culture in some way is flat-out wrong. Nevertheless I agree with Slott’s main point, which is that Spider-Man should be cast regardless of race, with the best actor being picked for the job.

However, whilst Peter Parker doesn’t need to be white, Miles Morales does need to be black! And if the best actor for the job happens to be black they absolutely should not cast that actor as Peter Parker, and must be the first film studio to introduce Miles Morales, who is absolutely deserving of a movie, or two!

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