Zendaya Reacts to Racist ‘Spider-Man’ Backlash: ‘I See the Real World’
The actress, who was rumored to play the superhero franchise’s lead Mary Jane role but is cast as “Michelle” according to IMDB, tells The Hollywood Reporter in its Next Gen 2016 issue that she’s not surprised the potential job drew criticism. And though some devout fans (alternatively: trolls) have publicly taken issue with a potentially black MJ (the character has traditionally been white), Zendaya’s not letting hate knock her off balance.
Worse that all of this, Zendaya says, is that reaction is still rooted exclusively in unconfirmed rumors.
“People are going to react over anything,” she said. “But nothing [about who I’m playing] is fact. It’s like, you guys are just making s— up at this point and then reacting to it.”
Zendaya added that she will not concede to curt critics, and insists she still sees humankind as inherently good.
“Of course there’s going to be outrage over that because for some reason some people just aren’t ready,” she said. “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.”
In August, Spider-Man creator Stan Lee told The Toronto Sun the vitriol aimed at Zendaya was completely undeserved, and that even in the specific context of superhero movies, diversity has only proven to be an asset.
“In the Daredevil movie, the Kingpin — who had been white in the comics — he was a black man playing the role, and he played it beautifully,” Lee continued. “The color of their skin doesn’t matter, their religion doesn’t matter. All that matters is that this is the right person for the role.”
Here’s How Zendaya’s Already Proven To Be a Young Fashion Icon: