Marvel director James Gunn is speaking out in defense of Zendaya, who has reportedly been tapped to star as Mary Jane Watson in the upcoming ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ film.
In the comic books, the fictional Mary Jane is a white woman with red hair. Zendaya is not. For that reason,
white people on the Internet are having a complete fit.
“All hell broke out” on the internet over the casting choice, Gunn said.even though most social media users were on Zendaya’s side.
While several hot-takers did question the character’s change of race — and the 19-year-old Disney star’s acting skills — it seems that all but a few social media users had Zendaya’s back.
“Since Mary Jane is being played by a Black woman, can MLK be played by a White man in a next movie about him?” one Twitter user wrote.
“People saying some are racist because they don’t want Zendaya as MJ, nah she’s just a bad actress, nothing to do w/ skin color or ethnicity,” another user added.
Gunn did not confirm Zendaya’s appearance in the role — still just speculation spurred by a report from The Wrap. But the director did want to clarify that people with race-based gripes “have lives that are too good.”
“People get upset when something they consider intrinsic to a comic book character changes when adapted for a film. I get this…,” he wrote.
“That said, I do not believe a character is the color of his or her skin,” Gunn continued.
It is “shallow,” he added, if a character’s main attribute is the color of his or her hair or skin.
“Whatever the case, if we’re going to continue to make movies based on the almost all white heroes and supporting characters from the comics of the last century, we’re going to have to get used to them being more reflective of our diverse present world,” he said.
You can read his full post below.