It became known as “the fourth spider-man”: behind Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland, would be found Warden Wayne. Sure, his movie wasn’t made by Sony or Marvel, but it was a fan film. And everything was going from strength to strength until some old messages of his with a high load of racism and homophobia were discovered.
Spider-Man: Lotus It was the brainchild of 18-year-old writer-director Gavin Konop to pay homage to the spidery hero. For the film to see the light of day, it had to be shown that it was made non-profit, just as a fan event.
There is even a teaser trailer, where various elements of the synopsis are shown: after the death of his ex-girlfriend Gwen, Peter Parker questions whether Spider-Man’s curse should be buried forever. Then he receives the news that a boy with a terminal illness wants to meet the wall-crawler, generating doubt in the heart of the hero.
But everything went overboard, when direct messages from Wayne and Konop were revealed, where they used a language where racism and homophobia predominated.
The apology of the “fourth Spider-Man”, Warden Wayne
Last June, Wayne, 22, issued an apology for what happened, hiding behind the fact that he was a teenager when he said those offensive words.
“Years ago when I was in high school, I used to say terrible things,” Wayne said. “He used offensive language, often homophobic or racially insensitive, casually or in jest. I’m sorry and I’m ashamed.”
Wayne blamed conservative upbringing as the main reason for his racism and homophobia, in addition to “contacting the wrong people online.”
“I grew up in a small town in Arkansas, where I had to sneak around on other iPads and computers to use social media. My family has always been associated with groups like the Duggars (conservatives) and those values were subsequently pushed onto me.”
“I was in a bubble, where I wasn’t aware of how serious it was for me to say these things or these words. My ideas about the good and the sea were biased.
The film’s writer-director Konop later released another statement, noting that the actor had been open about his earlier ignorance. “I did everything in my power to hold him accountable. Not only then, but also today and always.”
What will happen to the film? It does not yet have a release date, although it is expected to remain in 2022. But, after the terrible statements revealed, it seems difficult to have the support of the fans.