When it was announced that Zendaya would be in the next Spider-Man movie, playing across from the new Spidey iteration played by Tom Holland, everyone assumed she was going to be his classic love interest, Mary Jane. There was an explosion of nerd rage on the internet because people are racist as hell and can’t conceive of a Mary Jane who isn’t white with red hair.
The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Zendaya about her experience with navigating racist Marvel fans.
Very sadly, it’s not her first rodeo. Zendaya has been the focus of many racist attacks. She says, “People are going to react over anything. But nothing [about who she is playing] is fact. It’s like, you guys are just making sh*t up at this point and then reacting to it…But of course there’s going to be outrage over that because for some reason some people just aren’t ready. I’m like, I don’t know what America you live in, but from what I see when I walk outside my streets of New York right now, I see lots of diversity and I see the real world and it’s beautiful, and that’s what should be reflected and that’s what is reflected so you’re just going to have to get over it.”
If only New York reflected the diversity of the rest of America! But Zendaya is right. She’s playing a fictional character, and the only thing that limits what a black woman can play is our imagination. Also, she’s not even playing Mary Jane after-all! How about that, ya racist idiots? Her character’s name is Michelle and she has no romantic interest in a boy who is bitten by a special spider, a very grounded reality we must be dogmatic about. Now, what you got to say?