The Response To Black Panther Domestically and Abroad

Around the time Black Panther came out in China, I saw an article                     ( ) that discussed the response of Chinese moviegoers to the movie. As I’m sure most of you know, the movie stars a mostly black cast with only a few caucasian characters. The movie is about a superhero but has many underlying themes of black power and nationalism. In this article, the response to Black Panther in China that was discussed was overwhelmingly prejudiced. Chinese people interviewed described the movie as aesthetically unpleasing because it was to dark, in reference to the main casts skin color. Though this can be blamed on ignorance since China has a very lacking population when it comes to diversity, but I remember thinking that such an ignorant response would be hard to come by in my daily life. Yet, within an hour, I was scrolling through the comments of another post on Black Panther and I came across a thread of commentators arguing the fact that the film should have been named differently because people believed it to be about the Black Panther movement, and so they felt turned off by that. I have seen this reaction to the Black Panther Party before due to stereotypes and myths perpetrated by the government back in the 60’s to villainize the Black Panther Party. What struck me as so unbelievable was that people didn’t think to look at a synopsis, trailer, or even a poster to see that the movie wasn’t a fictional account of the Black Panther Party. Though there is mention of the party in the movie, it is not the basis of the film, and the fact that people were so quick to ignorantly villainize a movie because of the mere use of a term such as Black Panther shocked and annoyed me. But it helped me remember that not everybody has the same education as I do and that unfortunately I shouldn’t be surprised by this kind of behavior on a Facebook comment section.

One thought on “The Response To Black Panther Domestically and Abroad”

  1. I think the article you discuss is very interesting. It reminds me of when I studied abroad in Indonesia last semester. Sometimes people would talk about how they thought my white skin was beautiful, and how their skin was ugly because it was dark. This made me super upset, because I didn’t want them to see themselves that way, in part because I don’t think of my skin as pretty at all, it’s full of pimples and blotches. In Indonesia there were so many products, like soaps and deodorants, that would apparently lighten your skin. It’s interesting comparing that to the beauty industry familiar to my own life, which is that paleness is ugly. As someone who doesn’t get very tan and instead sunburns, I’ve been guilty of staying out in the sun too long only to end up with my shoulders red and peeling. I hate that all these societies have weird beauty standards, and I especially hate racism’s role in it. Luckily America and other countries are currently experiencing various body positivity movements, but I think we still have a long way to go.

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