Outrage over Chinese 'Black Panther' poster isn't all it seems

It appears that the poster for the Chinese release of the forthcoming Marvel movie Black Panther has a marked difference from the posters seen elsewhere.

It shows the movie’s star Chadwick Boseman, in his Black Panther suit, but with his face covered by his mask.

(Credit: Disney)
(Credit: Disney)

The posters for the western release, however, show Boseman without his head attire.

Of course, there’s been more than a little unrest across Twitter about it, with accusations of racism flowing liberally.

But is all as it seems? Perhaps not.

It appears there are also a selection of posters featuring Boseman, some with and some without his mask, to promote the movie in the far east.

There’s been issues with the treatment of black actors in posters for Chinese movie releases in the past, however, which may be where the sensitivity comes from.

John Boyega, despite being one of the principle characters in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was shrunk and tucked in behind BB-8 back in 2015.

In 2016, the marketing company for Denis Villeneuve’s alien invasion thriller Arrival also came under fire for a cultural movie poster faux pas. The poster, depicting an alien space craft hovering over Hong Kong, had mysteriously added the Oriental Pearl Tower – a Shanghai skyscraper – prompting a swift online backlash.

#‎HongKongisnotChina began trending on Twitter, and the company behind the film marketing withdrew the poster and swiftly issued an apology, laying blame at a “3rd party vendor”.

Black Panther, which is getting some serious early buzz following its premiere in the US, is out in the UK on February 13.

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