Marvel comic book icon Stan Lee is defending his stance that Spider-Man should be kept white and straight.
Lee – who co-created Spider-Man as well as the X-Men, Fantastic Four and The Avengers – is the latest victim to be thrown into the spotlight because of the Sony Pictures scandal when thousands of hacked emails were released to the public.
In the emails, Lee and Sony went back and forth on changes made to the appearance, character traits and back story of the web-slinging superhero. Within the emails, Lee was insistent that Spider-Man remain white and straight.
“It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that,” Lee told Newsarama after the emails came to light. “Latino characters should stay Latino. The Black Panther [a black comic book character] should certainly not be Swiss. I just see no reason to change that which has already been established.”
Lee went on to say he has no problem with superheroes who are black or gay, but that he believes the continuity of the character should be respected.
“I wouldn’t mind, if Peter Parker had originally been black, a Latino, an Indian or anything else, that he stay that way. But we originally made him white. I don’t see any reason to change that,” he said.
On Spider-Man’s sexuality he added: “I think the world has a place for gay superheroes, certainly. But again, I don’t see any reason to change the sexual proclivities of a character once they’ve already been established. I have no problem with creating new, homosexual superheroes.”
Lee does note though that part of the character’s appeal is that, in costume, he can be just about anyone.
“What I like about the costume is that anybody reading Spider-Man in any part of the world can imagine that they themselves are under the costume. And that’s a good thing,” he said.