Robot 6

Andrew Garfield on Spider-Man: ‘So why can’t he be gay?’


“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?”

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star, and longtime Spider-Man fan, Andrew Garfield, recounting to Entertainment Weekly a conversation he had with producer Matt Tolmach about Mary Jane Watson. (The actor even has a male MJ in mind: Friday Night Lights and Chronicle star Michael B. Jordan.) In the process, Garfield may have just restarted the game of telephone some mainstream-media outlets played in 2011 when Marvel announced that biracial teen Miles Morales would be the new Ultimate Spider-Man.



Why can’t any established character be gay? Why can’t any established character be black or Asian or whatever? Every time that happens, we can all pretend we’ve done something for humanity. I’m all for diversity, peeps, but can’t we just have new characters? Kevin Keller seems to be doing just fine.

Is Garfield gay? Is that where this is coming from?

Enuff with gay already…I think comics are handling “gay” just fine…like everything else in life pushing the envelope can have a downside.

Why can’t he be Mormon? Handicapped? There’s lots of possibilities.

A gay Spider-Man with a male MJ wow and I thought the idea of a white middle aged Shredder who cant do martial arts was a stupid idea. How about Hollywood make something that celebrates the source material and doesn’t treat it like something that should be ignored. Sure as hell worked pretty well for the Avengers.

Why can’t Peter be gay or bi? There’s no reason that he shouldn’t be.

I think it’s ridiculous to say that something can’t be changed, especially in an adaption. Most of these characters were created when white, straight characters were the default (and sadly that’s often still the default). Is that really something you want to uphold in the 21st century?

Marvel has enough trouble focusing on characters who aren’t their big names as it is. I’d rather have an existing character being revealed to be bi in the comics, or a character in an adaption being gay or bi, than a bi or gay character being introduced just to be forgotten or swept under the rug in favour of more Iron Man or Wolverine.

If you want to introduce diversity, create new characters. Don’t change long-standing existing characters for this purpose. As a non-white person, personally I find it a little insulting when people think we can just switch a character’s ethnicity just to be diverse. Ostensibly, it’s done because the creators want to respect people of color and include them in the story. But to me, it comes off as the opposite. By treating ethnicity as merely an interchangeable characteristic, it actually denigrates the fact that minorities have radically different experiences from white people in America, and to act as if you can simply swap Superman (or Batman or Spider-Man’s) skin color and NOT have him come out to be a completely different character is, quite frankly, disrespectful of minorities and promotes a low view of their culture.

I’d think that the same reasoning would apply to a character’s sexuality.

Personally, I think there are more than enough G/L/B characters in mainstream American comics already. I buy comics with the hopes that my son will want to read them someday, and comics with themes that conflict with my beliefs are crossed off my buy list. Of course, they can publish whatever they want and anyone is free to buy whatever he wants, and I’m just speaking with my wallet when I buy or don’t buy accordingly.

Scott, I’m confused.

How does having LGBT characters in comics “conflict with your beliefs”? Do you not believe that gay people exist?

Why would your son not want to read comics with gay people in them? Seems an arbitrary thing. Does he not want to read comics with blonde people in them or left-handed people? That would be equally arbitrary.

Why can’t we discover that Andrew is exploring his sexuality? The mere idea would cause many to go crazy (in the good and in the bad sense).

@Jason F.,

I’m not denying they exist, I just prefer not to read about them. I went to parochial schools, and the LGBT lifestyle is not something I want to read about in fictional comic book characters. As far as I’m concerned, when I buy comics for my son, I’m in a way endorsing the content.

OK, now that would turn things on their ear :) Auburn-haired surfer boy Micheal Jamison, the younger estranged son of You Know Who, casually leaning on the doorframe. “Tiger, you just hit the jackpot…”

Why can’t he just be the character people are going to the movies to see?

jesus christ. Really?

Scott, I see. Just run-of-the-mill bigotry, and the passing down of same from father to son. Charming.

For the same reason he’s not black or a woman or 50 years old or a millionaire. Because he’s been a white, straight, poor young man who has had women be an intrigal part of his story for a damn long time. Don’t reinvent the character. Just do him the way we want to see him. If you want to play a gay superhero then go make up a gay superhero. Go tell that story on your own time. Right now you are playing Spider-man and quite frankly you’re doing that on my (and all the fans) time.

I’m sure there are gay Peter Parkers somewhere in the Marvel multiverse. Hmm, there should be a What If? I see no reason there couldn’t be a movie about a gay/bisexual version of the character. It’s not like any movie really sticks to 616 continuity.

I have no issue with gays in comics or movies, but this particular circumstance would make it difficult for even the most well-thought and written handling to seem rather unnatural, unnecesary, and as though it were an unfeeling publicity stunt. PP has a girlfriend, and is rather awkward with girls. Usually, that’s a straight guy. I’m not saying it couldn’t be done, just that it doesn’t mesh well with the established backstory from AS 1. If it’s hinted at in 2 and established in 3, okay, but I hope it isn’t done to get butts into theatre seats at the cost of story. On the other hand, bringing in Alpha, making him gay, that could be done without it seeming rushed or contrived.

@Jason. F

Stop with you’re sensativity out cries. This isn’t therapy. Scott only said he doesn’t want to read about it in fictional characters. That is his choice. He did not say he goes out committing hate crimes. He is entitled to his opinion as to what he wants to read about or what his son would like to read about.

Just as you are entitled to have your opinions,he is allowed to have his. Just because you don’t like his answer you call him a bigot. Only person being run of the mill is you. Crying when someone doesn’t feel like reading about a character that has same sex tendencies.

Well said, Alex.

Uh what?

The guy had 3 girlfriends and almost had a daughter (or did in an alt world where MJ didn’t miscarriage)

I’m all for more diverse heroes but that’s just silly.

J B you are exactly right. I mean look what they have done to Nick Fury. They kind of ruined the Captain America movie by having him save the Howling Commandos from the Natzis then Fury show up at the end of the movie in modern days and is black. So why would Spider-Man even be gay? That’s just not the way it is!

And RY33 they already reinvented the character in the New Ultimate Spider-Man. He Is half-black, half-Latino.

And yes, I am a gay man :)

A gay spiderman ? Have you all lost your damn minds? Want a gay superhero – Make one. Use Adam West was giving it to Burt Ward anyway. – Peter Parker being in love with the girl next door Mary Jane has been part of the story line for longer than most of you have been alive. Do not change the character’s ENTIRE story line to fit in the times. Next thing we know Reed Richards will be a drooling mentally disabled invalid as to not seem insensitive to those facing mental disabilities and feeling left out.

Why not… We’ve already destroyed everything of Peter’s character as Spiderman as is. Why not make him gay too. Hell let’s make him Native American while we are at. Hell we might as well change his name to while we are at it.

Can we stop destroying Pete already? Can we just make NEW characters for these ideas?

So yes let’s turn Doc octopus into a gay spiderman. Hell that might be the final way everyone knows it’s not Peter in there anymore… and maybe we can finally let the boy rest in peace.

Claude Parish

July 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Dude lives with his aunt. Sews his own costumes. Goes out all night.Look at that hair! Of course he’s gay.

Actually Don- Nick Fury was black in the Ultimates line of the Avengers which is where much more of the Marvel cinematic world seems to come from (and predates the movie by a decade).

To the point. I’d also recently heard that in the new Fantastic Four movies there was talk of making Johnny and Sue black. In cases like that and like this concept of gay or bi Spidey, I don’t really care on a sociological level, but on a nostalgia level it hits a little hard. I’m all for more lgtb characters in comics, but the reason even go to see a movie like Spiderman when I’m pushing 40 is because it’s been a part of my life for so long. If there is going to be more diversity in comics and comic book films, it’s the job of the studios to create engrossing and entertaining divers characters.

On the other hand I’m a little bit of a hypocrite because I loved Idris Elba in Thor so I’m not inflexible. But then Heimdall was a lesser character- I’ve never seen a Heimdall lunchbox. So your mileage may vary.

Gay Spiderman? Really? Up next- Gay Hulk?

i always thought spiderman was gay anyway


Of course he has a choice to not approve of gay characters, just as he has a choice to not approve of black or hispanic characters, but call a spade a spade.

Personal discrimination against the use of minority characters, as well as attempting to pass on that kind of ignorance to your children, IS bigotry and not an “opinion”.
No two ways about it.

You know what ISN’T a choice?
(also not an opinion)

I can understand Garfield wanting to pla a character who wouldn’t challenge his acting abilities quite so much, but no one forced him to accept the role or the paycheck. Still, I wouldn’t mind this version of the Black Cat:

You’re aware that Garfield is obviously f***ing with the fans, right?

He hit all the right buttons, the racism button, the homophobia button, come on.

He’s sitting back and waiting for the fur to fly.

It’s an easy trolling of bigots.

Yeah. I’d watch that.

MJ as a guy?!?! I, I…wow, I’m surprisingly really into this. Wow. I love MJ so much, I worship her. I don’t want to see her changed, she is perfection. And yet, I’m really incredibly intrigued by this. And there’s a chance it would greatly endear her (him?!) to the audience which is one of my greatest desires for these movies.

If Peter Parker can gay, he could also be homophobic, right? I mean, if there is a possibility that this character can be in a relationship with another male, then there is also a possibility of him not liking the idea of gay marriage too?

It could be fun to show children that even superheroes that save people in danger can have some prejudices.

Why don’t people here who made comments about gay or disabled characters make their own comics, will others buy it? Sales is the denominator that pushes publishing? Indian Spiderman anyone?

Rommel is right!

If they are so anxious to see a gay superhero why don´t they invent one? It looks like these days we should be ashamed of being heterosexual.

Uhh, gee… why can’t Northstar be straight and have a girlfriend? I mean, it wouldn’t even be groundbreaking anymore…

Oh, what’s that? Shoe uncomfortable on the other foot?

Why not film the storyline where he grows an extra 4 arms, then have him enter the paralympics?

Not holding my breath for a African Muslim Kevin Keller.

If Peter Parker had all the same life experiences he had, but was also gay…

… he’d still be the same Spider-Man. Possibly a stronger, more positive Spider-Man.

He’d also still be fictional and be relatively unimportant and unnecessary to our lives in the grand scheme of thing.

I think no offense to the people of these but seriously should stick more to the comic, i mean the comics were made and kids read them should kids really be reading about guy or bi in the first place i don’t think so its not that i’m not all for it, but i really think it should stick more to the comic books in all honesty.

Why does “being gay” get so much interest when they are thinking about modernising a character? Why does it have be one or the other? Why do actors like Garfield always seem to focus on sexuality when there are just as many other relevant diverse characteristics out there like race, economic status, disability etc. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of actors and celebrities reducing sexuality to headlines and desperate attempts to raise their twitter status. Give me something new, like a character who’s disabled ( one of the reasons I loved Millar’s Superior ) and explore that. Let’s explore characters that can also appeal to many kids out there from diverse backgrounds

Why must Superheroes has to be GAY? Does being GAY make you more HIP and TRENDY than being straight? Doesn’t this show that politicians and religionists are GAY too?

The reason why Spider-Man can’t be gay in a movie: MONEY. Go ahead. Let them make a movie where Spider-Man is gay and see how much money they lose. It may not be fair, but its what would happen. It’s all about the $$$.

Also, good luck selling the merchandise once the word gets out, you think Dads & Moms are gonna dress up their little kid for Halloween as Spider-Man if he’s gay in the movie? No more little boys buying the action figures. No more Spider-Man T-Shirts etc. Spider-Man would then be categorized as gay from then on, and the Spider-Man BRAND would be dead.

Look, I’m all for a movie with a gay superhero, say Northstar or Batwoman or whoever, but not for a money machine like Spider-Man.

So if a straight guy doesn’t want to watch/read about a suddenly gay Spidey that makes the guy a bigot? I guess by that definition, I’d be a bigot, too.

I’m betting most of the people saying yes to this would be pissed if Northstar was put in a movie and was straight.

Making Peter Parker gay would completely betray the spirit of the character. Why, you might as well send him to another planet and give him a new costume that turns out to be an alien, or replace him with his own clone.

@Peter: I find it fantastic to know that you are the authority on how gay is done in comics. Actually, the representation of LGBT characters is not WELL DONE. Usually, they come out and are put into the background and hardly spoken about. Northstar as basically all but disappeared. Rictor and Shatterstar’s relationship…not spoken about much anymore. So no, they are not handling it fine but thank you from a presumably straight man for saying that it is.

@DD – Right on, dude. Well said.

@Chris – That depends on your reason for not wanting to read about a gay Peter Parker.

I happen to be against the idea because Peter’s straight sexuality has been a major characteristic of his personality for the entire history of the character. There’s nothing wrong with objecting on those grounds. If that’s your reason, then you and I are in agreement and I wouldn’t call you a bigot.

But that wasn’t Scott’s reason. Scott’s reason was that homosexuality goes “against his beliefs.” How an inherent trait like sexuality goes against someone’s beliefs is beyond me–that’s the logic that leads to people forcing lefties to write with their right hand–but there you go. THAT is bigotry. He doesn’t think his son would be interested in a comic with a gay character–I suspect that what he really means is that he will discourage his son from having an interest in a comic with a gay character, because ick, boys kissing, don’t want the lad to catch the ghey from a comic book–and that’s also bigotry. Any way you slice it.

Let’s be honest. Sony isn’t going to make movie Spidey gay. Marvel isn’t going to make 616 Spidey gay. It’s not going to happen. But Andrew Garfield’s comments are his way of tweaking the noses of miserable homophobes like Scott and like others in this thread, and good for him.

@Scott: Please provide us with a list of the “more than enough” characters! It’s cute that you want to have your son read comics that are about accepting people who are different from others and presumed to be awful human beings because they are different..and ENTIRELY miss the point. You should be showing your son that you will love him no matter what he turns out to be in the future, instead of instilling in him that your love is conditional and therefore should be afraid to tell you things.

There’s no comparing Spider-Man to Northstar.

Northstar is one of a tiny handful of gay comic book characters, just like Luke Cage & Blade are some of the only black superheroes.

Spider-Man is one of about five million straight white male superheroes. He was created at a time when straight white male was the default. Unlike Luke Cage or the Black Panther, who have specific cultural backgrounds, Peter Parker is straight & white just because Lee & Ditko wouldn’t have considered anything else.

A gay Spider-Man, or a black Nick Fury, adds a tiny bit of diversity; a straight Northstar, or a white Blade, removes it.

Amazingly stupid idea.
Sure make spidey gay.

And watch your profits fall by at least 50%.

……..just sayin’.

The gay agenda should go invade some other market. Changing the sexuality of established characters is dumb as shit. Established characters are established becuase people like them how they are. Create new characters instead of trying to force the gay agenda, PER USUAL.

personally i would find it interesting to see a gay spider-man. i do agree that is an unlikely movie idea, because of the popularity of the character, but it is a good idea. i mean all, and i mean all, of the major mainstream characters are straight. the only major characters we have seen be gay are Hulkling, Wiccan, and Karolina. Am I the only one who notice the lack of their respective titles not producing new issues?

Anyways, with all of this talk about changing main characters, I’ve decided to be on the fence. As much as I like the idea of new ways to portray characters, i also know that Marvel can not handle changing favorite characters without screwing them up.

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