Newsflash: Zendaya is amazing in the new Spider-Man movie. But after Twitter users claimed that Zendaya couldn’t play M.J. in Spiderman: Homecoming because she’s a black woman, Paris Jackson stepped up to call out the haters.
After Zendaya was cast as “Michelle” in the film, some speculated that her character was actually Mary Jane (aka Peter Parker’s primary love interest in the comics). At the end of the movie, Michelle calls herself “M.J.,” sending a pretty clear signal that, yes, the character is a new take on Mary Jane.
Mary Jane is traditionally depicted as a white, red-haired woman. That means that, because some people cannot seem to wrap their minds around casting based on talent, trolls on the internet crawled out of the woodwork to say that the actress wasn’t right for the role.
Model and actress Paris Jackson had no patience for such nonsense, responding to defend Zendaya and her role in the film:
Zendaya DOES slay, and we can’t wait to see more of M.J. in the future.