Star of the upcoming fan-made project Spider-Man: Lotus Warden Wayne posted a public statement on Twitter Saturday, apologizing for past usage of “offensive language,” including racist and homophobic remarks. The lengthy apology comes after screenshots surfaced of Instagram messages the actor, now 22, had sent as a teenager.
“Years ago when I was in high school, I used to say terrible things. I used offensive language, often homophobic or racially insensitive, casually or in jokes. I am sorry, and I’m ashamed,” Wayne wrote, describing how his upbringing in a conservative homeschool environment influenced his values and made it easy to fall in with the wrong people online.
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“I was raised…in a small town in Arkansas, where I had to sneak around on other iPads and computers to use social media,” he continued. “My family has always been associated with groups such as the Duggars [19 Kids and Counting], and those values were subsequently pushed onto me. I didn’t get my own cell phone until I was 18. I was in a bubble, where I wasn’t aware of how serious it was for me to say these things or these words. My ideas of right and wrong were skewed.”
“…I wanted to fit in, and have friends. So I aligned myself and tried to act in ways they’d approve of. Which included saying offensive things for the sake of a reaction or making ignorant jokes. I was an immature kid with too much time and no sense of integrity.”
Wayne wrapped up the earnest apology by taking accountability, writing:
“But regardless if any of this, I should’ve known better. And I spend every day wishing I hadn’t been a terrible person when I was younger. But I can’t change the past. All I can do is take responsibility, and own up to my incredible shortcomings. And continue trying to be a better person.
I hope you all can forgive me. I’m sorry.”
Read the full apology here:
Wayne is Set to Star as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Lotus
Newsweek reports that Wayne is set to star as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Lotus, a fan-made, not-for-profit movie expected later this year. The 2021 trailer (above) shows Parker as he grieves his girlfriend Gwen Stacy’s tragic death and has to decide whether he wants to continue living a double life as a web-slinging superhero. The adaptation, which is not associated with Sony, Marvel Studios, or Disney, does not have a release date yet.
The film’s writer and director, 18-year-old Gavin J. Konop, released a statement following Wayne’s apology, claiming that the actor had been open about his former ignorance.
“I have done everything in my power to hold him accountable,” Konop wrote. “Not only then, but also today, and forever.”
Konop’s full statement can be found below: