Spider-Man’s Mary Jane model calls out harassing behaviour from fans

Stephanie Tyler Jones is calling on fans to respect personal boundaries after several uncomfortable incidents.
spider-man 2 mary jane face model harassment

Stephanie Tyler Jones, the face model of Mary Jane Watson in Insomniac’s Spider-Man games, has taken to Instagram to call out several fans for recent harassing behaviour that “crossed boundaries” into uncomfortable territory. Per Jones, one called her workplace and left multiple voicemails demanding to speak with her, in a way that made her feel unsafe.

As Jones makes clear, she is no longer an “actively auditioning” actor or model, and is simply looking to make a living without fearing for her safety. Her role in the Spider-Man games should not exclude her from that right.

“Over the weekend, some followers crossed boundaries,” Jones wrote on her Instagram story. “One even went to the extent of calling my workplace and leaving multiple voicemails wanting to speak with me and requesting I call back, which is unacceptable and considered stalking.”

Read: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was crafted with reverence – Interview

“My skincare page is not for Spider-Man or MJ fans. Bottom line is that I came into work this morning and immediately felt unsafe and uncomfortable hearing those voicemails. Please respect that I am a human being trying to make a living just like you, and I kindly ask for boundaries to not be crossed. Messages will not be answered, I will block you if you make me feel uncomfortable and you can unfollow me if this disappoints you.”

Since the launch Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Mary Jane’s depiction has been the subject of much debate, of varying degrees. Some commenters disliked her role in the game, claiming she was overpowered, while others claimed not to like her character at all. That these discussions have crossed the boundary into the real world, seemingly inspiring threatening behaviour, is egregious.

As Jones states, she has the same right to privacy as everyone else, and an obsession with a character she lends her likeness to is no excuse for infringing on that. While unfortunately this behaviour is fairly common in online fandoms, and frequently reported by actors and Twitch streamers working within gaming, this behaviour needs to be called out when it happens – and it needs to stop.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.