Lotus Fan-Film Star Addresses His Past Racist, Homophobic Comments

Spider-Man: Lotus star Warden Wayne apologized for a series of racist and homophobic comments following the circulation of various incriminating screenshots on social media.

Wayne, who plays Peter Parker in the highly anticipated fan film, acknowledged his statements in a post on his personal Twitter account. The actor said the intention behind his tweet was to “come forward honestly about mistakes I made when I was younger,” referencing a series of screenshots wherein he expressly uses several racist terms. “I’m embarrassed and sad at who I was, and I’m sorry to anyone I may have hurt years ago, or to anyone I may have hurt now by revealing this information,” he said. Wayne added that he was raised in a “homeschool conservative environment,” noting that the ideologies of his parents were “pushed onto” him.

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“The groups I associated with online were not good people,” Wayne wrote. “But I wanted to fit in, and have friends. So I aligned myself and tried to act in ways they’d approve of. Which included saying offensive things for the sake of a reaction or making ignorant jokes.” Wayne also notes he “should’ve known better,” and that he will “continue trying to be a better person.”

Spider-Man: Lotus writer and director Gavin J. Konop has responded to the situation surrounding Wayne’s past, stating that he was aware of the actor’s comments. “In the past, Warden has been open with me about his former ignorance, as well as what could surface as a result, and I have done everything in my power to hold him accountable – not only then, but also today, and forever, “wrote Konop. “I bluntly told him that this is going to love him with him for the rest of his life – there’s nothing he can do about it, and that’s the reality he’s accepted.” Despite this, Konop also says that he “can’t do anything much as a consequence” as Spider-Man: Lotus is a non-profit project that is not affiliated with Marvel and Disney.

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Following Konop’s official statement on the subject, several followers began sharing screenshots that feature the director making similarly racist comments on Instagram. Konop has yet to address these messages, and many fans have called him out for attempting to defend Warden in light of his own racist statements. The writer / director later addressed these images, stating 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. ” Konop noted that he will eventually deliver a formal response but will take a break from social media until then.

As a result of the discovery of the messages, both Warden and Konop have experienced significant backlash. Many of the fan film’s supporters are criticizing the director for working with Warden despite seemingly having knowledge of his racist, homophobic sentiments while also pointing out his own prejudiced past. Others are calling for a boycott of the Spider-Man: Lotus due to Warden’s comments, with some saying the actor’s apology doesn’t make up for his previous statements.

Spider-Man: Lotus is a non-profit fan film that combines elements from “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man” by Roger Stern, Ron Frenz, Terry Austin, Bob Sharen and Diana Albers and Spider-Man: Blue by Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, Steve Buccellato, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott. The project is scheduled to release in 2022.

Source: Twitter

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