Marvel Moves to Eliminate Racial Stereotypes from Black Panther

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This is sensitive territory for the Marvel movie franchise. That is their single most opportunity to endear many in the Black community and possibly unite the tribes. All black people love Black Panther. The sci-fi, comic con, revolutionary and movie goers alike.

So it makes sense that they would tread lightly. To mess up would be like missing a dunk opportunity when down by one during a game seven championship with no time on the clock after you steal the basketball at half court.

According to the Business Insider, maybe they will get it right, but with all this extra attention, we’ll be putting a magnifying glass to the movie.

The “Black Panther” universe has many villains. And for 2018’s movie adaptation of the comics, Marvel wanted to include M’Baku as one of them.

But Marvel had one major problem: M’Baku was also named “Man-Ape,” and he was a member of the White Gorilla Cult that killed white gorillas, ate their flesh and bathed in their blood, and wore their skin to get superpowers.

“Having a black character dress up as an ape, I think there’s a lot of racial implications that don’t sit well, if done wrong,” executive producer Nate Moore told Entertainment Weekly.

Comparing black men to apes is a longstanding racist stereotype, and the whole character raised a bunch of red flags for Marvel executives. They decided to handle it by dropping the nickname “Man-Ape” and just sticking with “M’Baku” as the character’s name. The producers also dropped his ape-like mask, which often made him literally look like an ape in the comics. The rest of his costume is more like armor with fur spurting out from underneath, accented with gorilla-inspired details.

Source: The Business Insider

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About the author / 

Toure Muhammad

Author Toure Muhammad is the head bean, publisher and chief strategist of Bean Soup Times. The Morehouse graduate has written front page cover stories for The Final Call and N’digo. He has been featured in the Chicago Reader, Upscale magazine, rolling out newspaper, and N’Digo magapaper. He’s been featured on Tavis Smiley’s radio show on NPR, on Chicago’s WBEZ (Chicago public radio), and many other radio shows.

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