Spider-Man's creator has weighed in on the latest revelations from the Sony Pictures email hack, which show that there is a legally-binding agreement between Sony and Marvel that the character must be white and straight in any cinematic franchising.
Other rules for Peter Parker's alter-ego include no smoking, the fact he must design his own costume, and he can't sell drugs or torture his enemies.
The discovery was met with outrage since it rules out an actor of another race playing the role in future films. Black-Latino teen Miles Morales, a fan favourite in the comic books since his introduction in 2011, is set to take over from Peter Parker as Spiderman in the comic version from the autumn.
However, Stan Lee, who created the character 53 years ago, said in an interview this week:
I wouldn’t mind, if Peter Parker had originally been black, a Latino, an Indian or anything else, that he stay that way... But we originally made him white. I don’t see any reason to change that.
Lee pointed out that he was in favour of diversity but that didn't necessarily mean reinventing his original work.
I think the world has a place for gay superheroes, certainly... It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that.
Latino characters should stay Latino. The Black Panther should certainly not be Swiss. I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it’s so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to. Hell, I’ll do it myself.