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Petitions Call For Disney To Approve Use Of Spider-Man Image On 4-Year-Old's Tombstone

July 12, 2019

More than 25,000 people around the world have signed no fewer than four online petitions trying to get Disney officials to allow a Spider-Man etching to adorn a 4-year-old’s tombstone.

The petitions started popping up earlier this month following a story from overseas tabloid publication The Sun on the alleged denied attempt at securing the image's use.

 According to the July 5-published report, Lloyd Jones asked a local council for permission to use an image of Spidey on his son Ollie's gravestone and was told to contact Walt Disney Company.

Jones claims Disney sent their "sincere condolences" and noted they were honored if they "played a small part in Ollie's happiness," but said that they could not allow his tombstone to be engraved with a Disney character due to a policy from Walt Disney himself which "does not permit the use of characters on headstones, cemetery or other memorial markers or funeral urns."

In a statement to Jones' brother, who made the request, Disney said, "We have striven to preserve the same innocence and magic around our characters that brought Ollie such joy.

The company did, however, offer Jones a one-of-a-kind illustration of Spider-Man, which would include a special message for his son.

They continued, "Although we cannot grant the family’s request, we would be pleased to commemorate your nephew with a hand-inked, hand-painted, personalized cel that recognises his love for Spider-Man, which will read: ‘For your -- (nephew’s name), Thank you for letting us share in the magic of your life. Your friends at the Walt Disney Company.' We feel privileged to have had him as a fan."

Jones was “shocked” to have his request denied by Disney, he said. “I didn’t really expect it. I just thought they’d be all right with it,” he told the New York Daily News.

Ollie’s dad said the inclusion of Spider-Man would have been important to his son.

“We spent his last birthday in Disneyland," he said. “And when he was on his death bed, we bought him a Spider-Man... and that stayed with him the whole time.”

Ollie died in December 2018 due to complications from leukodystrophy, which the Orlando Sentinel notes has a multifaceted impact on the body's neural anatomy.