As hype continues to build for “Black Panther” ahead of its Feb. 16 release, a petition has emerged to encourage the film’s studio to help Black communities. Chaz Gormley wants Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company to put 25 percent of profits aside to invest in STEM for the Black community they’ve “blatantly targeted” in ad campaigns for the flick.
“While many would see the release of a major studio film with a majority Black cast, Black director and art direction helmed by Black artists (the SZA & Kendrick Lamar song ‘All The Stars’ will be part of the ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack) as a win — what exactly will the Black community gain, aside from another symbolic victory?” Gromley wrote on the Change.org petition. “Surely, more than just Black people will be heading to the movies on February 16th to indulge in another piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, Marvel Studios hasn’t pulled out all the stops to get everyone else to come to the theaters — they’ve blatantly targeted the Black community, because they want the one thing the Black community has to offer in abundance – Black dollars.”
Gromley took issue with the marketing of the film, with a trailer using the Gil Scott-Heron’s song, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” on top of the flick being released during Black History Month. He also wants Black consumers to attend only if the there is an agreeance to #BreakBreadMarvel.
“By signing this petition you’re taking a stand, and informing Marvel Studios & their parent The Walt Disney Company that in February your money is not guaranteed,” he wrote. “That unless they agree to set aside 25 percent of their WORLDWIDE profit to be allocated for investment in Black communities, and in programs within these communities that focus on S.T.E.M., you will not be heading to any movie theater to see their film.”
The petition, which was launched Wednesday, Feb. 7, currently has 645 signatures with the goal of 1,000 signatures.
Online, folks didn’t exactly have a serious reaction to the Gromley’s call.
The wearing dashikis to Black Panther jokes were cool. Bringing a plate to the movie? Cool. But y’all becoming weird. Fuck Batman poetry and asking Marvel to donate to the black community petition. SMFH.
— FatBlackAndDashing (@NeekRoode) February 9, 2018
Marvel looking at that petition asking them to donate 25% of Black Panther's profits to rebuilding black communities pic.twitter.com/9omFHgNl5B
— Prince Vegeta (@Presh_Frince) February 9, 2018