A couple of days ago, the news broke that Zendaya would be playing the iconic role of Mary Jane Watson in the new Spider-Man film franchise. When I saw it, I was elated. I'm a long time fan of the character, and she has the perfect style and attitude to play the role. I believe that she can truly make the character more than just Spider-Man's girlfriend, something that Kirsten Dunst could never achieve, not for her lack of trying. So, imagine my shock when I logged into Twitter and saw the fury of a vast amount of Spider-Man fanboys.
They're angry because a black actress has been cast in the role, and Mary Jane in the comics is traditionally white. (It's a similar controversy to when Michael B Jordan was announced as the new Human Torch back in 2014.) They were flabbergasted that Marvel would cast a young woman who wasn't white, and started publicly calling out the studio for listening to the "PC Police." It's also not the first time that people have made racist and ignorant comments about the actress, who has always been open about her mixed race background and her refusal to conform to society's expectations. These new trolls are just another wave of idiots trying to take her down.
To them I say screw tradition, give me something different. By casting her as the female lead, Marvel have taken a step forward that other studios wouldn't dream of. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, she's not the goofy black girl or the sassy best friend, she's the one person in the world that Spider-Man will go to for guidance. They're confirming what so many of us already know, that being headstrong and passionate aren't traits that are confined to any one race, something that some people refuse to believe.
Wether the bigots like it or not, Zendaya is Mary Jane Watson. When next summer rolls around and the film hits cinemas, every little girl will be able to say that she wants to be like Mary Jane.
Face it tiger, we just hit the jackpot.