Warden Wayne, the hero of the highly anticipated Spider-Man: Lotus fan film, has apologized publicly for his previous homophobic and racist remarks.
Warden of Spider-Man: Lotus Following the publication of many damaging screenshots on social media, Wayne apologized for a series of racist and homophobic remarks.
In a message on his own Twitter account, Wayne, who plays Peter Parker in the highly anticipated fan film, apologized for his remarks. The actor said his post was meant to “come forth honestly about errors I did when I was younger,” referring to a series of screenshots in which he uses multiple derogatory slurs. “I’m embarrassed and saddened by who I was, and I apologize to anyone I may have offended years ago or today by exposing this information,” he added. Wayne went on to say that he was up in a “homeschool conservative setting,” where his parents’ ideas were “pushed on” him.
Wayne remarked, “The online communities I was a part of were not decent people.” “However, I desired to be accepted and make friends. As a result, I associated myself with them and attempted to act in ways that they would approve of. This includes things like saying hurtful things just to get a reaction or making stupid jokes.” Wayne also admits that he “should’ve known better” and that he will “keep trying to be a better guy” in the future.
Gavin J. Konop, the writer, and director of Spider-Man: Lotus, has replied to the controversy concerning Wayne’s history, claiming that he was aware of the actor’s remarks. “In the past, Warden has been forthright with me about his previous ignorance, as well as what may emerge as a result, and I have done all in my ability to keep him responsible – not only then, but now, and forever,” Konop wrote. “I told him straight out that this is going to be his love for the rest of his life, that there’s nothing he can do about it, and that’s the truth he’s accepted.” Despite this, Konop claims that he “can’t do much as a result” since Spider-Man: Lotus is a non-profit initiative unrelated to Marvel or Disney.
Following Konop’s formal statement on the topic, a number of fans began circulating images of the filmmaker making racist remarks on Instagram. Many fans have chastised Konop for attempting to protect Warden despite his own racist remarks.
The writer/director later clarified that the images are a mix of “photoshopped screenshots of me saying outrageous things, to screenshots of things that old admins had sent from my account several years ago, to actual old messages that do need to be addressed, to an entire situation that needs to be addressed all on its own,” according to the writer/director. Konop stated that he will respond in writing later, but that he will refrain from using social media until that time.
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Both Warden and Konop have suffered severe reactions as a result of the disclosure of the emails. Many followers of the fan film are attacking the filmmaker for working with Warden while appearing to be aware of his racist and homophobic views, as well as referring to his own biased history. Others are asking for a boycott of Spider-Man: Lotus as a result of Warden’s remarks, with some claiming that the actor’s apology is insufficient to atone for his prior words.
The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man by Roger Stern, Ron Frenz, Terry Austin, Bob Sharen, and Diana Albers, as well as Spider-Man: Blue by Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, Steve Buccellato, Richard Starkings, and Wes Abbott, are combined in Spider-Man: Lotus, a non-profit fan film. In 2022, the project will be completed.