New Petition Asks Black Panther Movie-Goers To Boycott Film If Marvel Does Not Invest Profits Back Into Black Communities
My Wakanda University pullover is almost here! Everyone I know is going to see Black Panther this weekend, but one man is trying to challenge that, requesting people to not support the movie if Marvel Studios does not invest a portion of their profits into Black communities. Are you here for this?
A Change.org petition is calling on Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company to invest 25 percent of the profits for the hot new film “Black Panther” into the black community. Created by a user named Chaz Gormley, the petition’s description said that Marvel and Walt Disney Co. have “targeted the black community with their advertisements” for the film. “Through a clever, well-manufactured marketing campaign Marvel Studios and their parent company The Walt Disney Company have targeted the Black community with their advertisements for the upcoming ‘Black Panther’ film, due to release on February 16, 2018. As marginalized groups have become more vocal, corporations and their savvy public relations departments have turned to catering to these groups – to turn a profit – and this film by Marvel Studios is no different,” the petition reads. Gormley goes on to say that while it is a “symbolic victory” to see a major studio film with a majority black cast, black director and art direction helmed by black artists, this achievement doesn’t gain anything for the black community. He cites that Marvel’s marketing campaign has targeted black customers specifically by releasing the film during Black History Month and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” playing in the background of the film’s initial trailer.
Chaz Gormley, a man that just seems passionate about our people, started a Change.org petition demanding that Marvel Studios and its parent company, The Walt Disney Company, invest 25% of its profits from Black Panther into Black communities. He argues that because the marketing campaign has heavily targeted these communities, they should cough up the bread to give some back, considering we melanated folks have been looking forward to this Black-led superhero film since 2016, pretty much guaranteeing that we will be spending our green to see this film.
“As marginalized groups have become more vocal, corporations and their savvy public relations departments have turned to catering to these groups – to turn a profit – and this film by Marvel Studios is no different,” he wrote. “For years, Black America has been speaking of the ‘lack of representation’ in media, be it print, video or otherwise and as of the last decade Marvel Studios and the ‘superhero’ genre in general have often been used as prime examples.”
Gormley is asking folks to sign his petition and boycott the film if Marvel does not give back to the Black community in this way. He acknowledged that the film has a Black cast, Black director and Black art direction, but, basically, he’s not too impressed.
“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 [sic] 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?”
So Gormley created the hashtag #BreakBreadMarvel to spread his message. Well, people are using it to not only support his stance but to make an argument on the opposite side of the fence. Even actress Vivica A. Fox gives her opinion on it all after she was asked about the petition by TMZ yesterday.
While Gormley’s argument is a fair one, I’m wondering whether this changes your weekend plans. Or will you be headed to see Black Panther no matter what Marvel does or doesn’t do with its profits?