Monday, January 8, 2018
There are several defining characteristics of T’Challa, the superhero more commonly known as Black Panther. He’s the ruler of the African nation of Wakanda. As the holder of the Black Panther mantle he’s been granted superhuman abilities and a vibranium suit that makes him mostly invulnerable to conventional weapons. And he’s black. That’s pretty important. And by “pretty important” I actually mean “of the utmost importance.” It’s not really negotiable.
Given that fact, the appearance of a Black Panther pin — posted by the pin enthusiasts at Disney Pins Blog, which says it was spotted at Walt Disney World — with a face that looks an awful lot like he’s got extremely caucasian eyelids and cheeks, has not gone over extremely well in the twittersphere.
Just look at that thing. We know that Black Panther’s mask doesn’t feature white panels near the eyes, so the natural assumption is that the eyeholes in this particular rendition of Black Panther’s face are large enough that you can see some of his skin under his eyes — that the color tone looks very much like the skin tone of a white guy would seem to back that up. On the other hand, the normal Black Panther mask doesn’t leave any part of his face exposed (the eyeholes have armored lenses, even), so it’s also possible this is just some kind of weird production error.
Or maybe it’s just a camera or lighting issue. The pin has shown up in a handful of listings on eBay (such as this one), and the color beneath his eyes looks a bit darker in some of those images. Here’s an example:
That’s certainly less caucasian-looking, anyway. But also the color palette of the image is completely different from the other picture. This is probably one of those things you need to see with your own eyeballs in order to figure it out.
Whatever the explanation, what we have here is a rendition of Black Panther that, at least in that one picture, makes him look like a white guy. And those who saw that picture of the pin on Twitter almost universally expressed their intense disapproval. You can see a sampling of the responses below.
As you may have heard, Disney and Marvel have a “Black Panther” movie coming out on Feb. 16 starring Chadwick Boseman, who is not white, in the title role.
Source: the wrap feed