UK network ITV removes homophobic ‘joke’ from screening of original Spider-Man
One of the UK’s main terrestrial channels, ITV, showed Sam Raimi’s 2002 hit movie Spider-Man at the weekend and took it upon itself to edit out a homophobic ‘joke’ delivered by Peter Parker himself.
The line occurs early on in the movie when Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker enters a wrestling competition after discovering he possesses superhero powers. Speaking to his opponent, he says: “That’s a cute outfit. Did your husband give it to you?”
In a statement, ITV said about the cut: “We carefully consider the suitability of content we broadcast and appropriateness of language used to ensure that it meets audience expectations, especially when intended for family viewing.”
There has been a lot of news of late to do with editing out LGBTQ+ representation for worldwide markets, some where the studio bends to the will of the nation involved, and some when they have refused.
It’s sad how much we were conditioned to casual homophobia back then as we didn’t even realise there WAS a homophobic joke in the first Tobey Maguire movie. Admittedly we haven’t seen it in a while and it would no doubt stick out like a sore thumb now but 20 years ago, it would have just passed us by like a daily micro-aggression. It’s great to see that companies take these things seriously these days and know what harm such throwaway ‘jokes’ can inflict.
Tobey Maguire returned to the role of Spider-Man in the huge MCU hit Spider-Man: No Way Home which is well worth a watch for fans of your friendly neighbourhood web slinger.