Robot 6

Stan Lee reacts to the idea of a bisexual Spider-Man

Stan Lee

Stan Lee

Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee has responded to actor Andrew Garfield’s recent what-if scenario in which Peter Parker could be gay or bisexual, joking, “I figure one sex is enough for anybody.”

Appearing over the weekend at Fandomfest in Louisville, Kentucky, the 90-year-old comics legend appeared caught off-guard by a question from the audience about Garfield’s “request to make Spider-Man bisexual and Mary Jane male.” Lee initially offered a glowing assessment of the actor’s performance in The Amazing Spider-Man, before the question was explained to him.

“He’s becoming bisexual?” Lee exclaimed in disbelief, eliciting roars of laughter from the audience. “Who have you been talking to? 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.”

Garfield, who’s filming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, sparked a good deal of discussion among comics fans when he related a conversation with a producer in which he said, “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 actor expanded on his comments at Comic-Con International, explaining, “Listen, what I said in that Entertainment Weekly interview was a question. It was just a simple, philosophical question about sexual orientation, about prejudice. I obviously long for the time where sexual orientation, skin color, is a small thread in the fabric of a human being, and all men are created equal — and women, sorry, women as well. To speak to the idea of me and Michael B. Jordan getting together, it was tongue in cheek, absolutely tongue in cheek. It would be illogical for me in the third movie to be like, you know what? I’m kind of attracted to guys. That’s just not going to work. That’s clear.

“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. And when Stan Lee first wrote and created this character, the outcast was the computer nerd, was the science nerd, was the guy that couldn’t get the girl. Those guys now run the world. So how much of an outcast is that version of Peter Parker anymore? That’s my question.”

(via ComicBook.com)

News From Our Partners

Comments

29 Comments

I think he’s kidding even Stan has been a very forward thinking guy and he actually did press endorsing the x-men gay marriage.

I think Andrew makes some really good points.

Stan’s line isn’t about intolerance for bisexuality — it’s just a quip about the struggles of relationships in general. I’ve heard similar lines from stand-up comedians; Stan is indeed pretty forward-thinking, and even at 90, can joke with the best of them.

that comics dude

July 29, 2013 at 10:28 am

“Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality?”
Because if I wanted to see a guy exploring his sexuality, I’d view brokeback mountain, or any other drama like that. If I go to the theater to see a Spiderman movie, the only white fluid I want to see is the one from his wrists. Sorry, but this is a superhero movie, not a real life drama. I really don’t care about spidey’s sexuality, I want to see our hero beating the crap out of the bad guys.

“this is a superhero movie, not a real life drama.”

Because Stan would never let the two of those mix.

The way I figure we can interpret this in one of two ways… The first is Russ’s interpretation, which is that Lee isn’t knocking same-sex relationships, but making a joke about the hassle of relationships in general. The other is that Lee is confusing, or is pretending to confuse bi-sexuality with hermaphroditism, as in one set of sexual organs is enough for anybody.

But why would you just up and change a character that has been heterosexual since his creation out of the blue? As silly as it mind sound…readers become attached to a character and all of their aspects even sexuality…not that people don’t change their mind or have experiences but a change like that I feel would be more detrimental than uplifting.

There’s plenty of room in comics for diversity and lifestyles to be discovered through new characters or in characters that haven’t been fleshed out in the past. I just think that you have to be careful that in trying to embrace one thing, you don’t end up alienating the other.

So, BC, it’s okay for Spidey writers to magically erase Peter and MJ’s marriage, bring Norman Obsorn back from the dead a million times, put Doc Ock’s brain into Peter’s body, but a gay or bi Spider-Man is where you draw the line? lol

Garfield said: as a middle-class straight, white man, I don’t really understand so much. And when Stan Lee first wrote and created this character, the outcast was the computer nerd, was the science nerd, was the guy that couldn’t get the girl. Those guys now run the world. So how much of an outcast is that version of Peter Parker anymore? That’s my question.”

Garfield’s lack of understanding shows in his performance. His Peter is kinda cool and his Spidey is just an ass. I’m not a big fan of Toby Maguire, but he did it right.

And fyi, those kids who will run the world still get bullied in school.

John is right — Peter has brains, and physical strength thanks to his powers, so you’d think he has the confidence to match, but he doesn’t. That’s what draws bullies to him, more so than his smarts, or in this context, any other element that would set him apart (bisexuality being one of them). Now, WHY Peter is so insecure, who knows? Perhaps because he’s persistently robbed of his father figures? The means are arguable; in the end, Peter is insecure, and keeping the reasons ambiguous makes him a champion for everyone, plain and simple.

Oh Stan, you’re just showing your age. Which is cool. He made the character straight that’s fine.

But Garfield . . . way to backpedal. Anything can happen in a story if its done right . . . so no, it could be done properly to have Peter find out he’s gay. Which obviously Stan Lee never intended the character to be. But yeah, if you knew anything about gay culture you’d know some people don’t come out until they’re way older, and after years of thinking themselves straight. And that’s real life, not a made up story.

But whatever.

Marvel should just make a cool new hip young gay superhero and not shove him into the background or hide him on a team a la Young Avengers.

Aaron Davidson

July 29, 2013 at 11:18 am

I’m pretty sure Mr. Garfield is comfortably upper class.

That last part of Andrew Garfield’s statement is real talk

I wouldn’t want to see a bisexual spiderman anymore than i wanted to see a hetero/bisexual Wiccan and Hulkling.
I don’t mind a gender/racial/costume change, but a cultural/sexuality change simply deviates too far away from the source material for my compfort. (case in point; Constantine, and he’s even bisexual)

I won’t deny however, that seeing the flustered reaction of homophobic and extreme religious forces when Mephisto shows up and nulls Peter and MJs gay marriage would be insanely funny :D

“Outcasts” do not entirely “run the world.” There are still plenty of nerds, geeks, outcasts, whatever you want to call them. People that read comics, watch anime, play Pokemon, live with video games. These people still connect with “that version” of Peter Parker because they can relate to it. This is who Stan Lee wanted to target with Peter Parker. Some nerds are in high level positions, but these same nerds could just be people that hung around the true quiet guys that got walked over….

So that whole comparison is entirely wrong. Peter Parker still represents the outcasts, and there will always be those out casts. No matter what movies and TV say, nerds are still not accepted at school’s, especially high schools….

Most people without questions about their sexuality don’t feel the need to “explore their bisexuality” if it just isn’t there. Making a character bisexual for the sake of being bisexual can be taken as an insult to people who gay, or bisexual. Being gay isn’t a fashion statement, or something you just try out for fun. Not unless you’re a college co-ed on Friday.

I pissed a lot of people off once when I said only a fraction of 1% are born gay. In the media and now in politics the issue is in our face literally all day long every day. For most people 99% are hetero. And there is evidence for a gene allegedly from Oscar Janiger for the existence of such a gene.

Younger generation accepts, it seems, blindly whatever the media says. Truthfully it is more likely that people are converted to being gay or lesbian by lifestyle choices. And then become a certain way. Gay, BiSexual, Lesbian etc. In the womb we are neither sex until a certain moment. Looking at adult material certainly is an influence too. I was and am straight. Watching males kiss makes me sick (and I am not a racist or homo-phoebic). My friend will have sex with anyone. Even though I caution against Aids. When you are hot you are hot.

The propaganda about sexual orientation is massive and I feel wrong. There are topics that will bet massive backlash: Sex; Sexual orientation; guns, abortion, racism. Having a discussion seems impossible. I predict a major backlash in the next major election. I do not want the racists to win or be on top. So beware of this.

I pissed a lot of people off once when I said only a fraction of 1% are born gay. In the media and now in politics the issue is in our face literally all day long every day. For most people 99% are hetero. And there is evidence for a gene allegedly from Oscar Janiger for the existence of such a gene.

Younger generation accepts, it seems, blindly whatever the media says. Truthfully it is more likely that people are converted to being gay or lesbian by lifestyle choices over lifetimes (reincarnation is real). And then become a certain way. Gay, BiSexual, Lesbian etc.

In the womb we are neither sex until a certain moment. Looking at adult material certainly is an influence too. I was and am straight.

Watching males kiss makes me sick (and I am not a racist or homo-phoebic). My friend will have sex with anyone. Even though I caution against Aids.

When you are hot you are hot. Sensuality is not wrong though many spiritual paths say there is a higher way.

The propaganda about sexual orientation is massive and I feel wrong. There are topics that will bet massive backlash: Sex; Sexual orientation; guns, abortion, racism. Having a discussion seems impossible. I predict a major backlash in the next major election. I do not want the racists to win or be on top. So beware of this.

Inclusion is the only answer and choice is the most important element. Life is sacred.

Nagual, if I were to sculpt a human being out of pure shit. I don’t think that human being would be as full of shit as you.

True fact: Nagual Artist’s education came entirely from YouTube videos.

I dont think Peter being gay would be a bad thing. But you would have to start the movie out like that. drop hints and clues in the first movie if you wanted to explore it later on. I have never hated the idea of changing somethings about characters, I just think they need to be handled the right way. But in the end I always feel more strongly that these ideas should be used for new characters, not rehashes old ones. It’s like the whole Miles Morales thing. I hate that he is Spider-Man because they wasted this character, he should have been a new character, like a whole new generations Spider-Man. Instead they put him in a spider costume and wasted a really cool possibility. This is what I feel they would do if they made Peter gay or bi. Just give us something new and stop wasting ideas.

they should not make Spiderman gay or bisexual. Peter Parker straight period. Leave spiderman the fuck alone

Leave the source material as is. I grew up on Spider-Man as is and I’m not interested in watching him pushing a new agenda. If they feel so strongly about creating gay role models can they create their new heroes and see how popular they will be. I’m equally against changing race of these characters even though I’m considered a minority race. Go cry for someone who cares and leave our characters out of your new world agendas.

For a bunch of “readers” apparently some of you aren’t reading – Marvel comics has never expressed any plans to change Spiderman’s orientation. All this is based on based on a hypothetical question that was asked of the actor who is portraying a fictional character in a movie.

Furthermore Stan Lee is clearly joking as well about the topic. Unlike some of the people commenting on this story, Stan ‘The Man’ Lee isn’t a douchebag and has express multiple times in favor of diversity in comics.

I don’t care what they do with MJ so long as it’s written well and they don’t kill off Gwen to both capitalize on the old GG story (making the movie into a checklist) and “make room” for the addition of MJ. If it’s done well with enthusiasm and other characters aren’t sacrificed in the process, I say they can do whatever they want with the characters.

I think by exploring bisexuality Garfield could just mean getting it on with a dude , deciding hey, not for me, and moving on. This would be pretty different from making him gay, or even a committed bisexual. So unless you think same-sex-sex is morally problematic, or that one’s sexual activities are so fundamental to their personality that a drunken tryst with Mary/Jane-Marty-Jay makes Peter Parker a totally different person, then it’s a non-issue.

Boy I sure hope KillBillly is not lumping me into is comment about people.

A gay man usually has a different set of experiences from a straight man. Altering Spider-Man’s sexuality wouldn’t just be changing one little thing. I still think that creating a new character and not half-assing it is probably the best way to go. I get that he wouldn’t have the name recognition, But is it really that difficult for Disney/Marvel to get the name out? Seriously, couldn’t we just have a bunch of new characters rather than living off 50-year-old IP?

AJ was here. I love men.

Leave a Comment

 



Browse the Robot 6 Archives