Header Ads

Grieving father is devastated after Disney stop him from putting a picture of Spider-Man on his four-year-old son's grave following his death from rare genetic disease - because he doesn't own the copyright

In life, Ollie Jones was mad about Spider-Man.
And when he died aged four, his grieving father wanted a picture of his favourite superhero to watch over his resting place.
The touching gesture was thwarted, however, when Disney refused permission to use the etching on Ollie’s gravestone – claiming it wanted to preserve Spider-Man’s ‘innocence’.
His father, Lloyd Jones, said he was baffled by the film giant’s ruling. He said it did not want its characters associated with death, adding: ‘Kids only matter to Disney when they’re alive and spending money.’
When Ollie Jones, from Maidstone in Kent, died aged four in December his father, Lloyd Jones, wanted a picture Spider-Man - the child's favourite superhero - to watch over his resting place
When Ollie Jones, from Maidstone in Kent, died aged four in December his father, Lloyd Jones, wanted a picture Spider-Man - the child's favourite superhero - to watch over his resting place
Ollie's funeral was led by a celebrant dressed as Spider-Man and featured a horse-drawn carriage festooned with red and blue balloons
Ollie's funeral was led by a celebrant dressed as Spider-Man and featured a horse-drawn carriage festooned with red and blue balloons
Mr Jones had wanted to put this etching on his son's grave, but Disney refused permission claiming it wanted to preserve Spider-Man’s ‘innocence’
Mr Jones had wanted to put this etching on his son's grave, but Disney refused permission claiming it wanted to preserve Spider-Man’s ‘innocence’
Ollie, from Maidstone in Kent, died in December after a two-year battle with leukodystrophy, a rare genetic disease also shared by his six-year-old sister Laillah.
His funeral was led by a celebrant dressed as Spider-Man and featured a horse-drawn carriage festooned with red and blue balloons. 
But when Mr Jones tried to get permission for the etching, he was told by the local council to contact the Walt Disney Company, which owns the Marvel franchise. 
The US giant sent a rejection email offering a ‘personalised cel’ – a single celluloid frame – of a scene from Spider-Man with a hand-written message to Ollie.
Mr Jones, a father of six, said: ‘I really wasn’t expecting this – it’s another massive blow. I felt sure they would allow it.’
When Mr Jones (pictured with Ollie) tried to get permission for the etching, he was told by the local council to contact the Walt Disney Company, which owns the Marvel franchise
When Mr Jones (pictured with Ollie) tried to get permission for the etching, he was told by the local council to contact the Walt Disney Company, which owns the Marvel franchise
Ollie, from Maidstone in Kent, died in December after a two-year battle with leukodystrophy, a rare genetic disease also shared by his six-year-old sister Laillah
Ollie died after a two-year battle with leukodystrophy, a rare genetic disease
Ollie, from Maidstone in Kent, died in December after a two-year battle with leukodystrophy, a rare genetic disease also shared by his six-year-old sister Laillah
Writing on Facebook, he added: ‘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 representative wrote to the family: ‘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.’
A Maidstone Borough Council spokesman said it would do ‘everything it can’ to help the family, adding: ‘Sadly, these types of stones have to adhere to copyright, and while we understand this is a very emotional time for the family, we have made contact with Marvel to ensure the family are complying with their terms and conditions.’ 

No comments