Following a commercial-free broadcast of Black Panther on Sunday, ABC News aired a special tribute to the film’s star, Chadwick Boseman. After a four year battle with colon cancer, the actor died on Aug. 28. Throughout the star-studded tribute, many high profile celebrities celebrated Boseman’s impact both on and off the screen.
Boseman has had many impactful and powerful performances throughout his career. He played Black icons like Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown but his most viewed performance was undoubtedly as T'Challa in Black Panther.
As the first Black actor to star as the face of a Marvel Comic Universe franchise, Boseman represented more than just entertainment, he represented a cultural change. Robert Downey Jr., who plays Iron Man in the MCU, thinks that cultural impact is more impressive than anything the other films have accomplished.
“Black Panther is hands down the crowning achievement of the Marvel Universe,” said Downey. “It was the one that people got to vote with their ticket sales and say we require this overdue diversity.”
Chris Evans, who played Captain America, thought that Boseman’s ability to unite was incredibly rare and unique. “He had that power in his art to define a generation,” said Evans. “He is that generation-defining actor.”
Aside from the many celebrity appearances, the special also called attention to Boseman’s work with St. Judes Childrens Hospital, his commitment to education, and his work promote diversity and inclusivity.
As Whoopi Goldberg said, “This loss is felt around the world, people in every country. He was pretty amazing. He is Wakanda forever.”
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