As Marvel’s “Black Panther” continues shattering box office records, certain demographics seem hellbent on making sure Black folks don’t spend too much time reveling in the allure and awesomeness of the fictional African nation that is Wakanda.
Naperville’s Hollywood Palms Cinema in Illinois took to Twitter last week to clap back at critics who responded to one of its promotions for the blockbuster film with a “series of annoying comments” reminding them that Wakanda is not a real place. So, it issued an “apology” for the confusion.
“Hollywood Palms apologizes for the error,” the theater wrote. “We didn’t wish to give the false impression that Wakanda, a country with bulletproof suits that fit in small containers, flying cars and gender equality, is a real place. ”
“We would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to any Sokovian refugees (The Avengers), citizens of Kamar-Taj (Doctor Strange) or visitors from far-off Asgard (Thor) who may have been offended,” it added.
Even before “Black Panther’s” cinematic debut, Black people’s excitement over the Afro-futuristic world was met with criticism and efforts to hamper the joy afforded to fans of other fictitious Marvel universes. Popular films like “The Avengers” and “Iron Man” were celebrated by dedicated fans who showed up to theaters in their cosplay outfits. Yet not once was their enthusiasm over a “fake location” denounced by salty critics.
Internet trolls have also gone to great lengths to defame the film’s influence, using social media to spread fake news of racially-motivated attacks against white moviegoers at the film’s premiere. Meanwhile, some theaters across the nation were suspected of trying to hurt the film’s sales, including a cinema in Baltimore who claimed it was forced to cancel several showings of “Black Panther” due to technical difficulties.
Despite efforts to quell the movie’s success, “Black Panther” is still going strong, already raking in a massive $40.2 million in ticket sales as of Monday.