While there is plenty of whitewash controversy going around in 2016, some fans are still upset when white characters get a race or gender change. And that is certainly true when it comes to Spider-man: Homecoming. Fans were upset when they learned that the redheaded Mary Jane Watson was being played by the dark haired beauty Zendaya. This comes despite the fact that the actress has insisted she is not playing that particular character. Fans don't believe her, though. And once again, she has come out to confirm once and for all that she is not taking over or changing this iconic Marvel love interest.

In fact, as Zendaya tells Entertainment Tonight Online, she isn't even playing Peter Parker's love interest. And this is something she's been stating since the first time she was announced as part of the cast. But for some reason, a rumor started that she is playing Mary Jane Watson. And now no one will believe that she's not.

Fans are extremely hopeful that Spider-Man: Homecoming will live up to the legacy of this truly legendary character. It comes after two previous attempts to bring Spidey to the big screen, first with Sam Raimi's much loved first trilogy, and Marc Webb's less loved 2-Part Amazing Spider-Man fiasco. Though, from the outset, Spider-Man: Homecoming has seemingly been plagued by some of the issues that made fans turn away from the previous few movies. Peter Parker is dancing again. There seem to be too many villains. And director Jon Watt is definitely doing some heavy character modifications. Just look at Flash Thompson. The original iteration was a strapping blonde athlete and bully. Now, the character is being personified by the scrawny Tony Revolori, who is more scientist and mathlete than football star.

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That hasn't riled fans up as much as the possible casting of Zendaya as Mary Jane Watson, though. In the comics, she is an extremely beautiful future model with striking green eyes and luscious scarlet red locks of hair. In the first trilogy, this character was played by the blond Kirsten Dunst, which, at the time, also had fans in an uproar. In Amazing Spider-Man, the character was played by Shailene Woodley. Though, the actress got fired and her scenes hit the cutting room floor. The heavy speculation is that Sony gave the Divergent star her walking papers when fans complained that she wasn't pretty enough for the role. There were plenty of rumors that Mary Jane was being recast, but Sony canceled Amazing Spider-Man 3 in favor of this new reboot, and that never happened.

Peter Parker reportedly has a love interest in Spider-Man: Homecoming. But it's not Mary Jane Watson, and it's not being played by Zendaya. The pop star turned actress is hoping to put these rumors to rest once and for all. And she says this about the brewing controversy.

""Well, I'm not Mary Jane unfortunately, but I am in the movie which is exciting. My character's name is Michelle, if that's what everybody wants to think. I'm gonna let people think whatever they want to think."

The reason fans are so adamant about not letting this go is the tendency to cry wolf when it comes to these types of genre movies. Actors and directors alike are known for lying their pants off. Bradley Cooper insisted he wasn't in A-Team up until it publicly screened for the first time. And J.J. Abrams still won't admit that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, despite it coming out years ago. Remember how Christopher Waltz refused to confirm he was playing Blofeld in Spectre?

No wonder fans are so adamant about not believing her. Though, if there is some weird character reveal in the movie itself, where Zendaya is Michelle until she reveals herself as Mary Jane, that will be really weird. What kind of story would call for that? There is no reason for that kind of twist to present itself in a movie like Spider-Man: Homecoming. The first trailer is coming with Star Wars: Rogue One. Hopefully the matter will finally be confirmed once and for all at that time.

B. Alan Orange