Twitter Campaign for Spider-Diversity

Via Yahoo! Movie News – there’s a Twitter campaign underway to have the next Spider-Man be African American – specifically Donald Glover from NBC’s “Community.”

From the Yahoo! Movie News article:

Could the movies soon have the first African American Spider-Man?

If thousands of Twitter users get their way, the star of Sony’s upcoming reboot of the franchise will be Donald Glover, best known from his role on NBC’s “Community.” This weekend the Twitter hashtag “donald4spiderman” became the #3 trending topic in the U.S., and the campaign is still gaining steam.

The origins of this latest attempt by social media users to influence casting decisions occurred last week. After surveying the five mostly unknown white actors said to be vying for the role, Marc Bernadin, a writer for the sci-fi site, called the choices “bland” and asked, “In this day and age, why does Spidey have to be a white guy?” In response, commenters threw out Donald Glover’s name as a possible contender, and a Twitter campaign was born.

A unique aspect of this latest fan campaign is its wholehearted support by the subject in question. Glover seems to like the idea (though he makes it clear on his Twitter page that he’s interested in auditioning, not just being handed the role without first having to prove his worthiness). While he had nothing to do with its inception, Glover himself has been promoting the campaign, instructing fans to tweet the #donald4spiderman hash tag at strategic times to keep it trending.

The article by writer Marc Bernardin referenced in the Yahoo! Movies article can be found at this link. From his May 28th write-up:

So why couldn’t Peter Parker be played by a black or a Hispanic actor? How does that invalidate who Peter Parker is? I’m not saying that the producers need to force the issue; that they need to cast a minority just for the sake of it — but in the face of such underwhelming options like Billy Elliot and the kid who played young Voldemort, why not broaden the search? It’s not like any of these blokes are lighting the world on fire like a young Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio.

And don’t tell me it’s because an actor of color would hurt the box office: Not only is Spider-Man one of the most recognizable fictional characters on the planet, and managed to do just fine with Tobey “Snoozeville” Maguire playing him, whoever they cast WILL BE IN A MASK FOR HALF THE DAMNED MOVIE. AND ON THE POSTER.

I remember the hue and cry that was raised when the rumor floated that Will Smith was offered the role of Captain America, despite the fact that the very military drug experiments that turned Steve Rogers into a superman would’ve most definitely been tested on black WWII soldiers first (as Kyle Baker so expertly theorized in Truth: Red, White and Black). Now, I like Chris Evans a lot, but I’d be way more interested in a black Cap film — and, honestly, no actor alive comes across as more American than Will Smith. And, if The Avengers does borrow from the Civil War storyline, wouldn’t a Will Smith-Robert Downey Jr. face-off be infinitely more interesting? The road not taken.

Just thought you Crawl Spacers would want to know.  The subject is on the Yahoo! front page as I type this.  Have a great week, gang!

–George Berryman!

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