"If ya don't have nuthin' nice to say, don't say nuthin' at all."
— Thumper, Walt Disney's: Bambi (1942)
When pictures were released of as Mary-Jane Watson in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, fan-boy outrage lit up message boards; many of these comments, rude and disgusting. What sickens me the most is the fact that, because comic books portray women as pinups, that's what fans were hoping for. This puts any actress behind the 8-ball in fan expectation. The proportions for any girl in comic books are distorted, thereby distorting the minds of most fan-boys. In the comics, Mary Jane Watson is a model and actress who was supposed to be out of Peter Parker's league. This sets the expectations very high for fans of Spider-Man comic books, longing for this franchise to give them the supermodel actress to play MJ on screen.
Instead, they got unflattering pictures of Ms. Woodley on set, sparking knee-jerk reactions of rage and insults.
Shailene Woodley is a talented actress who has appeared in 's The Descendants, and hit shows such as _My Name Is Earl, Crossing Jordan, and more. While she may not be the busty supermodel that fan-boys were hoping for, she is a solid representation of how MJ was depicted in the comic books early on. Regardless of how people feel about her role, insulting the way she looks or comparing her to any kind of animal is disgusting behavior and shouldn't be tolerated. It's okay to disagree with the way she looks as MJ though, I just wish people could do so tastefully.
I'll admit, when I first saw the pictures of Ms. Woodley on set I wasn't pleased either. I think of the MJ from the Erik Larsen days of Spider-Man with thick, curly red hair, big green eyes and yes...busty.
Never, EVER did I insult her appearance, because she's a beautiful young actress. I just don't think she fits the profile for my favorite depiction in the comic books. She does, however, fit perfectly for the classic images provided by John Romita, Sr. in Amazing Spider-Man #42, so her role has merit.
So, what should we take from all of this? It's okay to disapprove of someone cast to play a comic book character based on your favorite depiction and/or expectations. It's not okay to insult someone's appearance in a cretinous manner.
I have a daughter, and it sickens me to be a member of a gender that behaves in a way that has no place in modern society. If you want to be a slob, pervert, or simply rude, please reserve those behaviors for your personal circle of friends.
What do you think? Let me know below.