Donald Glover for Spider-Man: The evolution of a meme

Illustration for article titled Donald Glover for Spider-Man: The evolution of a meme

Late last week, we wrote about the idea of Sony casting a non-white Peter Parker for their Spider-Man reboot. Then...a thing happened. And suddenly, Community actor Donald Glover has rallied the internet to his cause: getting him an audition.


If you'll recall, the original post asked the question: In the face of such underwhelming Caucasian options, why couldn't Spider-Man be played by an actor of color? In the comments — which ranged from encouraging to offensive, as one would expect — someone named "Rootadoo" suggested that Community actor Donald Glover would be perfect for the part. And then Donald Glover himself found out — and he's been tweeting up a storm: Over Memorial Day Weekend, #Donald4Spiderman was a top 10 trending topic. And then someone created a "Donald Glover 4 Spiderman" Facebook group. And it made the Washington Post and New York magazine, along with the standard coterie of comics sites.


Glover is quick to say that he doesn't just want to be given the job — which he'd be great for, incidentally — he wants to be able to audition for the job. Which was the whole friggin' point in the first place.

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Matthew Abel

Jesus. Christ. I can't even read some of the comments down there without bile rising.

The point is not to cast a black or minority character just to stir the pot. The point is to stop limiting ourselves to one goddamn ethnicity when casting roles like this.

Here is Peter Parker:



Victim of bullies.

Loyal to his family.





For a bunch of other people, here is the other criteria:


You can bitch all you want about your goddamn "true to source material" bullshit, but when the chips are down you are claiming a white actor is better than a black actor for the role literally because of his skin color.

You are saying the person of a specific skin color is better than another based solely on nostalgia - no other reason.

Get pissed if that's your only reaction. But you're racist.

Being white is not a crucial aspect of Peter Parker's identity. He has never to my knowledge been big on his family's European heritage in the comics. This has never been a huge plot point in the greatest stories. He's white mainly because he was created by two white guys. Now, he can be any other ethnicity - it should not receive such a level of vitriol. It's not about saying Spider-Man should be black. It's that they should chose the best actor for the role, regardless of that actor's ethnicity.