An anti-Latter-day Saint reference has been removed from the latest issue of the Amazing Spider-Man comic book.
Ryan Ottley, an artist for Marvel Entertainment, originally included a visual reference to the CES Letter, an online document by former member Jeremy Runnells that criticizes the faith.
Marvel investigated and decided to remove the reference. They released the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
“The art reference in Amazing Spider-Man #4 was included without awareness by Marvel of its meaning. As a policy, Marvel does not permit hidden controversial messages in its artwork. The reference will be removed from all subsequent printings, digital versions and trade paperbacks.”
Ottley also gave a statement about why he included the reference in the first place:
“I’ve spoken with Marvel about my recent artwork, and I have no animosity toward members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My entire family are members, as are many of my friends, and I would never include anything mean-spirited about them or their beliefs. The reference was in regards to a subject I am interested in and a personal decision I made in my life. It has nothing to do with the character, the story or Marvel.”