'Empire' actor Bryshere Y. Gray, a.k.a. Yazz the Greatest started a campaign to become the first live-action black Spider-Man this week. (Via) "I'm young and pretty and I represent the youth in America and speak to them in a way no one can at this time. I'm the American Idol. And I like to climb and fly through the sky and also would look amazing in the Spider-Man outfit." He's definitely not kidding, and I have to say, he looks dope in the spidey suit.
He's not the first person to argue that Spider-Man has this potential.
Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino launched a similar campaign back in 2011, and he ended up getting cast as the voice actor for Miles Morales in the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man. If you're not familiar with the comics, Miles is currently Spider-Man; he's also African-American and Hispanic. Unfortunately, people didn't see this campaign as a celebration of the potential heroes have to represent all of us and change lives: They saw it as a threat.
(Warning for racial slurs):
Turns out black people like heroes, too.
And in other news, water is wet. The reason Spider-Man is so beloved has very little to do with his passion for science or his skill with photography. It has everything to do with the fact that he is a hero. His story is universal. And that won't change if he's young or old, black or white. But the thing is, almost all of our fictional heroes are white men. What's the assumption there? That only white guys care about heroes? That it would be impossible for that "core" audience to relate to a hero that didn't look at speak and act exactly like they do? Because everyone else has been doing that for years. Makes me question what's so "threatening" about this version of Spider-Man.