If a Facebook petition could get Betty White to host Saturday Night Live, why couldn’t one choose the next Spider-Man?

Comedian Donald Glover, star of NBC’s Community, has launched a viral campaign to get himself the lead role in Sony’s reboot of Spider-Man, and it’s getting noisy. Undaunted by the fact that he’s a decade older than his rival actors as well as many shades darker, Glover has marshalled fans on Twitter, where they managed to get the hashtag #donald4spiderman to be a trending topic – just the sort of exposure that made Justin Bieber so famous.

On one hand this is kind of a hilarious tweaking of the very concept of internet phenomena, but on the other hand… I kind of like it. I don’t see why Peter Parker has to be white any more, and in fact the demographics of Queens, New York (and Parker’s neighborhood in general) in 2010 really indicate that he probably wouldn’t be. There’s nothing inherently Caucasian about Spider-Man – Parker could be a lower middle class black kid as easily as a white kid. What’s important is that the family background stays the same, and that’s a colorblind history.

What’s more, I actually think Glover’s a pretty great choice to play the role. He could certainly bring a level of humor to the character that was sadly missing in the Raimi films, and Glover has massive screen presence (see him in Mystery Team). God knows it would be better than Generic Tween #10.

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