Spider-Man should not be gay or black, says creator

Stan Lee created Spider-Man with Steve Ditko in 1962

Stan Lee created Spider-Man with Steve Ditko in 1962

Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man, has spoken out against calls for the superhero to be portrayed as a different race or sexual orientation on the big screen.

“I wouldn’t mind, if Peter Parker had originally been black, a Latino, an Indian or anything else, that he stay that way,” Lee told Newsarama. “But we originally made him white. I don’t see any reason to change that.”

He explained that the character should remain as originally envisaged in 1962 and that it would be better to instead create new diverse superheroes.

“I think the world has a place for gay superheroes, certainly,” Lee said. “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.”

He added: “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.”

In 2013, Andrew Garfield, who played Spider-Man in two movies said that he would have no problem if the character had a male love interest in the films.

Miles Morales is the new comic book Spider-Man

Miles Morales is the new comic book Spider-Man

Lee’s comments came as Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios this week announced that 19-year-old British actor Tom Holland has been selected to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the next Spider-Man film, set to be released in 2017.

The two studios were recently criticised when an internal “mandatory character traits” agreement was leaked insisting that, in the films at least, Peter Parker can only be “Caucasian and heterosexual” and that his Spider-Man alter ego must “not be homosexual (unless Marvel as portrayed that alter ego as a homosexual).”

In 2011, Marvel unveiled an alternative comic book version of Spider-Man who is of mixed-race, known as Miles Morales. He is set to become the new primary comic book version of Spider-Man, replacing Peter Parker on the printed page.

This means that for now Spider-Man will remain the white Peter Parker on-screen and the black Miles Morales in the comics.

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