All of us, together, with a few simple keystrokes and mouse clicks, can make things happen. It was the story of the 2008 election, and now it’s becoming the story of pop culture, as Internet campaigning is now responsible for crowning tomorrow’s superstars, reanimating television shows, and making the irrelevant relevant again. (Just look at Betty White.) The latest benefactor of the digital hive mind is Donald Glover, the African-American star of Community and former 30 Rock writer who, through a series of comment discussions on a blog, found himself the people’s choice to star as Peter Parker in the forthcoming Spider-Man reboot from (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb. Glover has responded to the movement, which has become a trending topic on Twitter and launched its own Facebook campaign, by saying he loves the character and would be interested but wants to audition, not to be handed the part. Glover’s insistence on going through traditional channels to get the part seems to suggest that he senses something a little fishy about the whole thing, and he’s right. What’s being asked for, it seems, is an appointment based on race rather than merit.
What do you think? Can Spiderman be black? What about Superman? Wonder Woman (imagine her with locks!)?