‘SPIDER-VERSE’ DIRECTOR ADVOCATES FOR MORE NON-WHITE STORYTELLERS
By Erin White
March 13, 2019
Bless Spider-Verse director Peter Ramsey, who is using his platform to advocate for others. The first Black person to win an Academy Award for directing an animated feature and the first to direct an animated feature for a major studio, Ramsey is using his spotlight to amplify the voices of others. Speaking with ESSENCE about his experience working on the surprise hit, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Ramsey emphasized the necessity of creating access and opportunity for more diverse and inclusive voices.
“To have a career in animation, at least on the creative side, there’s a lot of skills and a lot of training that’s necessary. The first thing is to make sure there’s access to those spaces where people can be trained,” Ramsey told ESSENCE. “The industry has to be aggressive in realizing that it’s good for everybody to diversify. One reason people are reacting to Spider-Verse is that it feels fresh because it’s got a different perspective.”
Spider-Verse tells the story of Afro-Latinx Brooklyn teen, Miles Morales, as he struggles to fit into his environment and his role as a superhero.
“When we started working on it, we wanted to make Miles a character that audiences would fall in love with, that was going to feel like he was from now. So we tried to make it as authentic and specific as possible — everything from the members of his family, the way his home and environment looked, the music he listened to — we wanted it to feel like somebody that kids could walk out of their own door and meet.”