Could Spider-Man be bisexual? Not if Stan Lee has anything to do with inOnline Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Thursday, August 8th, 2013
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Andrew Garfield, Spider-Man in the Hollywood reboot of the iconic Marvel comic, discussed a suggestion – sacrilege some would argue – with the producers of The Amazing Spider-Man series. “I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ . And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking! … So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”
But while Stan Lee, Marvel patriarch and comic book legend, did not hear about Garfield’s suggestion, he was approached by a fan at Fandomfest in Louisville, Kentucky, according to UnleashTheFanBoy.com, where he was asked about just that possibility. His response was, according to those who know him, classic Stan Lee. ““Who says he’s becoming bisexual? Spider-Man? Who have you been talking to? I don’t know, seriously, I don’t know anything about that. And if it’s true, I’m going to make a couple of phone calls. I figure one sex is enough for anybody.”
While the article asks if Lee is a bigot, the responses to the story and that question, which were splashed all across comic book fan sites, was remarkably uniform. There were, of course, many haters who couldn’t resist the opportunity to attack the LGBT community. But, by and large, the responses seemed to be that by making Spider-Man bisexual, or gay even, had less to do with the organic growth of his character – his ‘anthology’ as it is frequently referred to – than with Hollywood’s need to sensationalize everything it touches. Moreover, as Josh Sinason from Northern Illinois University remarked, “I don’t know why people are getting on Stan’s case. He made a bad joke. This is a guy who has written more comics about peace, love, bigotry and intolerance then any comic writer ever and he went out of his way to endorse the Northstar wedding, and work with gay writers and artists like Travis Pullen and Perry Moore. His answer may have been a little bit Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner but still.”
When pressed, Garfield elaborated on his statement making clear that he was merely being philosophical. “It was just more a philosophical question, and what I believe about Spider-Man is that he does stand for everybody: black, white, Chinese, Malaysian, gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. He will put himself in harm’s way for anyone. He is colorblind. He’s blind to sexual orientation, and that is what he has always represented to me. He represents the everyman, but he represents the underdog and those marginalized who come up against great prejudice which I, as a middle-class straight, white man, don’t really understand so much.”
What do you think? Would making Spider-Man bisexual or gay even be an important development or a stunt? We’d like to hear from you.
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=39686