(Another) Spider-Man and (Black) Mary Jane

2

March 12, 2016 by DeLa Doll

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s going to be yet another set of big box office Spider-Man flicks. We were caught in a web of entertainment with Toby Maguire’s Peter Parker, even as we cringed through the absurdity of Spider-Man 3.

Seriously, what the fuck was this movie

We were all crying into our popcorn when Andrew Garfield’s Spidey realized that he fucked up.

Garfield’s face after reading the Rotten Tomatoes reviews

And now…we’re getting another Parker story that nobody fucking asked for, for some reason. This time around, some dude named Tom Holland will be playing our web-slinging hero. Other than that, only two other castings for the latest Spider-Man reboot have been confirmed: Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, and Zendaya as a female lead named Michelle. While there has been little complaint about Holland and Tomei, word of Zendaya’s recent casting has been met with…a bunch of fucking racism. People who can’t be bothered to actually click and read articles have been mistakenly assuming that Zendaya, who is the child of a white mother and black father, was cast as Peter Parker’s red headed love interest, Mary Jane. This false assumption has been met with backlash and bullshit like this:

Shit like this is ridiculous for a couple reasons:

1. All the articles have clearly stated that Zendaya will be playing a character named Michelle, not Mary Jane, but people were more interested in showing off their racism than actually taking the time to read any of the fucking articles, lol.

2. Even if Zendaya had been cast as Mary Jane…who fucking cares? Mary Jane’s race hasn’t played a major role in who she is as a character, so why would the race of her character actually matter?

It’s not like we’re in dire need of more white actresses in leading roles…we aren’t. Hollywood has a history of making characters who are canonically POC (people of color) in their source material white in their movies, and when anyone dares to say something about it, they’re told en masse to shut up because it’s not a big deal. “They just picked the best person for the role” is the goto excuse. However, in the handful of times that a canonically white character has gotten a racial reassignment in their big screen incarnation, racists come out in fucking droves to talk about how it’s a tragedy and an outrage. Suddenly, the “best person for the role” excuse no longer flies. Personally, I’m so fucking tired of this double standard. Despite the improvements that continue to take place in the realm of onscreen diversity, minorities still receive little representation, and when they do, the depiction is, more often than not, highly stereotyped and borderline (or outright) offensive. I’m not about to get into the intricacies of Hollywood’s diversity problem, because millions of people have addressed it in other works much better than I can, but I will say how I feel about it:

1. When a character’s race/ethnicity is a major part of their identity in a story, it’s wrong to change that aspect of them for a movie. It’d be like changing Black Panther’s race; it wouldn’t make sense at all. This also goes for trying to whitewash depictions of historical figures for the obvious reason that you can’t just play around with the identities of real people.

2. When a character’s race/ethnicity isn’t a major part of their identity, then I don’t see the big deal in casting an actor/actress of a a different background for the role. The catch is that Hollywood often decides that they’ll take the few POC characters in a given work and make them white, which I do have a problem with due to diversity and representation issues.

If we’re going to adopt “color blind” casting, then it needs to make sense, and it needs to be fair across the board and done so in away that doesn’t further exacerbate or contribute to Hollywood’s whitewashing problem.

And to the racist idiots who find the idea of a black Mary Jane to be just so horribly disgusting and unbearable, please enjoy my Marj Jane cosplay that I made just for you!

 
  
  
  

This cosplay was inspired by this pic: 

Until next time, peeps!

**Please share your thoughts below!**

~DeLa Doll
facebook.com/deladollcosplay/
Deladoll.tumblr.com
Instagram.com/dela_doll

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2 thoughts on “(Another) Spider-Man and (Black) Mary Jane

  1. […] The cosplay in question involved a lot more than meets the eye, but because I had the audacity to show any amount of skin, although it is faithful to the source material, my efforts are once again trivialized and overlooked.Guy number 1 epitomizes the odd tendency of some men within the cosplay community to simultaneously lust after and rebuke female cosplayers. Guy number 2 went the same route of trying to hide his shitty behavior and attitude with a compliment, but he couldn’t hold it together. He set out to bash me and wanted to pick my cosplay apart because to him, I’m just some dumb whore looking for attention. Nevermind the fact that that’s probably one of the most easily recognizable and iconic pictures of Mary Jane, and any other effort to cosplay her would probably just be mistaken for regular street clothes. Double nevermind the fact that the sole purpose of me cosplaying her had to do with fighting back against the racist backlash from people who mistakenly thought  thatthe latest Spide… […]

    Like

  2. […] The cosplay in question involved a lot more than meets the eye, but because I had the audacity to show any amount of skin, although it is faithful to the source material, my efforts are once again trivialized and overlooked.Guy number 1 epitomizes the odd tendency of some men within the cosplay community to simultaneously lust after and rebuke female cosplayers. Guy number 2 went the same route of trying to hide his shitty behavior and attitude with a compliment, but he couldn’t hold it together. He set out to bash me and wanted to pick my cosplay apart because to him, I’m just some dumb whore looking for attention. Nevermind the fact that that’s probably one of the most easily recognizable and iconic pictures of Mary Jane, and any other effort to cosplay her would probably just be mistaken for regular street clothes. Double nevermind the fact that the sole purpose of me cosplaying her had to do with fighting back against the racist backlash from people who mistakenly thought  thatthe latest Spide… […]

    Like

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