A grieving father who lost his four-year-old son to a rare genetic disease in December says Disney prevented him from using Spider-Man’s image on the boy’s headstone because he did not own the copyright.
According to the Daily Mail, Lloyd Jones wanted to use a picture of Spider-Man on his son’s headstone but the company denied his request and explained that placing the superhero’s image on the grave would ruin his “innocence” since they do not want the character to be associated with death.
‘Kids only matter to Disney when they’re alive and spending money.’
Jones said he emailed the Walt Disney Company to obtain permission to use the superhero’s image but they sent him a ‘personalized cel’ with a handwritten message to Ollie from Spider-Man instead.
Ollie Jones battled the rare genetic disorder leukodystrophy for two years before his death in December. His funeral included a horse carriage decorated with red and blue balloons and an actor dressed as Spider-Man.
‘It makes no sense to me – characters die in their films all the time. Ollie’s last holiday was at Disneyland. He loved Spider-Man and we had bought him all the toys. But now he has died and we won’t be spending any more money, they don’t care.’
A Disney spokesperson released a statement explaining why they could not allow the father of six to use the hero’s image on Ollie’s headstone.
‘We extend our sincere condolences. If we played a small part in Ollie’s happiness we are honoured.
We have striven to preserve the same innocence and magic around our characters that brought Ollie such joy.
For that reason, we follow a policy that began with Walt Disney himself that does not permit the use of characters on headstones, cemeteries or other memorial markers or funeral urns.’
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