Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a Hollywood film (albeit animation) deserving of great recognition for the representation and role model it provides to aspiring young black and Latino men. For years, Hollywood has been described as being too white, racist, sexist, and lacking proper representation of diversity and inclusion in hit films. We've seen a changing trend over recent years of films like Hidden Figures and Black Panther showing strong people of color represented in positive roles. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse builds on that improvement in an amazing feature of encouragement, guidance to overcome fears and doubts, and acceptance of your strengths to achieve your goals. Young black men find a wonderful superhero on screen that saves the world, and the origin story deserves an award for the record books.
Multiple Spider-Beings come together in Spider-Verse through a rip in the space-time fabric in an experiment by Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), which presents the ultimate collision of generations, genres, genders, species, and experience. Only together can the space and time they were ripped from be piece together, and only through a leap of faith when Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) not only puts on the mask (which anyone can do), but chooses to be who he is and becomes the Spider-Man he is in his time. Miles needed some hard truths from Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) to see what needed to be done, but the choice was ultimately his to show up. Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), and Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) join the gang to fight Kingpin and Doc Ock (Kathryn Hahn) in stopping the time portal from destroying the world. This diverse group of Spider-Beings coming together proves it doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from, or how you got there—you can be destined to do great things, and work as a team to do good.
I am not worthy to repeat the plethora of wisdom provided by the late Stan Lee in this film. In a legacy that will last generations, Mr. Lee has let us all know we are not alone, and that our suits will fit… eventually. It is up to us to put on that mask, and to take that leap of faith to wear that mask with genuine humility and honest commitment.
The people asked Hollywood to deliver diversity and inclusion brining greater representation to the screen. This move improves intercultural relationships, provides positive role models for underrepresented youth, and demonstrates a commitment to fair and equal inclusion of all members of society. Hollywood has a powerful position with its influence and voice. I feel Spider-Verse shows that Hollywood is starting to grow into its super suit.
"Took you long enough."
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