A recent broadcast of the Tobey Maguire starring Spider-Man in the UK saw a snippet of dialogue be censored after years of fans noting its homophobic connotation, per Variety. The shifting cultural perspectives over the years have often seen outdated remarks and references be frowned upon by today’s audiences, though they aren’t often addressed or corrected, with ITV sharing a statement that they want to ensure their programming is appropriate for all audiences, especially films that are intended to be family-friendly experiences. As far as whether any other release of the film could be impacted is yet to be seen.
The edit in question occurs when Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker enters a wrestling match and comments from his opponent, “That’s a cute outfit. Did your husband give it to you?” ITV’s broadcast of the sequence edits the last part, with Parker instead merely noting, “That’s a cute outfit.”
“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,” the network shared with the outlet.
Interestingly, while this edit was made to create a more inclusive experience for audiences, recent films and their attempts to deliver more inclusive storylines have found themselves being forced to make edits to adhere to regional standards that prohibit such messages being delivered.
The upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will not be released in Saudi Arabia unless Disney cuts 12 seconds of dialogue in which America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) refers to her lesbian moms. Disney has not approved these edits, and did not make requested edits to last year Eternals in regards to gay characters, resulting in that film not being released in the region.
China has become a major market for theatrical releases, but it’s another region in which edits are often requested to adhere to their protocols. While Eternals was not edited for a release in China and therefore did not earn a release, Warner Bros. recently released Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore after making edits that removed references to Dumbledore and Grindelwald having a romantic history.
With this edit to Spider-Man being relatively innocuous and since it does not impact the sequence while also making for a more inclusive narrative, we will not be surprised if this dialogue is modified in more upcoming releases.