In one of my rebuttals to one of the idiotic racist postings on The Beat yesterday, I almost….ALMOST made a reference to Glenn Beck along the lines of, “Glenn Beck should start a line of comics just for all the angry white men; sales would soar.”
And then I thought, oh that’s too knee-jerk.
In the above clip, Beck indeed goes after the new “half black, half hispanic, half gay” Spider-Man, saying he doesn’t care, but “A lot of this is being done intentionally,” because of Michelle Obama’s sinister comments on “sacrifice” and “changing our traditions.”
New Ultimate Spider-Man is NOT gay, btw. No one has said he is. Except Matt Drudge, who misread a comment by artist Sara Pichelli in USA Today:
Italian artist Sara Pichelli, who was integral in designing the new Spider-Man’s look, says, “Maybe sooner or later a black or gay — or both — hero will be considered something absolutely normal.”
You have to wonder how Marvel/Disney is taking all the controversy. After Ed Brubaker ran afoul of the Tea Party and Fox News a while ago, Marvel freelancers were told to cool it with the politics. Is being mixed race really a political statement, though?
As for parent company Disney, they have their racist skeletons like everyone, but these days are usually pretty careful not to piss off their minority customer bases. And there is a HUGE gay presence within Disney, with several divisions run by gay execs in the past.
At any rate, creating a character who is non-white seems like the kind of thing that everyone can stand up for and feel good about.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.