Target: President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige
Goal: Remove Marvel’s racist and homophobic requirements for Peter Parker stating he must be white and straight.
Emails stating that Marvel character Spider-Man has to be heterosexual and white have revealed deeply homophobic and racist attitudes within the company. Wikileaks released nearly three hundred thousand files from Sony, one of which was an email between Sony and Marvel that required that Peter Parker be white, straight, and live in New York City. Tell Marvel that you will not support the systematically racist and homophobic casting of a well-written and well-rounded superhero.
In the top-grossing films of 2013, 75% of the actors were white, while 14% were black and less than 5% were Asian or Hispanic. Systematic under-representation of minorities is an issue that has plagued all of Western media, and Marvel has gone as far as to enforce it. Their emails have also revealed a pay disparity between male and female actors, displaying only further discrimination deeply rooted in the basis of Marvel’s production.
Peter Parker’s skin tone and sexuality are not defining characteristics of his identity, and there is nothing about his storyline or background that requires him to be white or heterosexual. The only ones requiring these traits are the discriminatory members of Marvel and Sony Studios. Sign to demand these bigoted requirements be removed.
Dear President Feige,
I am outraged and aghast by the racist and homophobic requirements written in the contract of Spider-Man’s Peter Parker. There is absolutely no reason that the character’s portrayal should be limited by sexuality or skin color, as they do not hold a mandatory or even vital part of his background or story.
The Marvel fanbase of Spider-Man have no intense attachment to the skin color of Peter Parker, and have even petitioned for black actor Donald Glover to play the role upon Sony’s involvement in 2011. The only race requirements present are being kept in place by your management and studios.
I refuse to support a brand that enforces systematic racism and homophobia within its casting and writing guidelines. I am deeply saddened that such a long-running and noble brand such as Marvel Comics and Studios would be accepting of such deeply discriminatory contractual obligations, especially after the strides that have been made in the past fifty years to keep the superhero genre open to all genders, races, and sexualities. Unless serious changes are made to this contract and all people are excepted by Marvel Studios, I refuse to support your products, branding, or company.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Blade Jordan