When Chadwick Boseman took on the role of Marvel’s Black Panther he knew the importance behind young Black children not only seeing a Black superhero on the silver screen, but also seeing Black kings and queens carrying themselves in respectable and admirable ways. See, he wasn’t just Black Panther the superhero in the film, he was also King T’Challa, the leader.
That’s why when the beloved actor was approached by different companies hoping he’d cash in on some branding opportunities, Boseman was quick to turn down stacks of cash in order to keep the integrity of the Marvel superhero intact in the eyes of millions of Black and Brown children (and adults). According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chadwick Boseman was just as much a hero in real life as he was in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as he stood up to greed and ambition in the name of innocence and admiration when he didn’t even humor business opportunities that would’ve tainted the image of the Wakandan King/Superhero in the eyes of his millions of fans.
Chadwick Boseman’s agent Michael Greene recalls how the 42 actor responded to an endorsement opportunity for an unnamed liquor company at the height of the Black Panther craze.
There was a strong interest after Black Panther to do a branding opportunity. Somebody came to us and said, “Do you want to have equity in a liquor company like George Clooney and a lot of the others have done?” He said, “I can’t, because how can I show young Black kids and kids of color that they can be superheroes, [then do this]?”
If only more of our heroes put integrity before ambition. We mean, we could care less what George Clooney does with his life, but Chadwick Boseman knew how much he meant to the culture and how unbecoming such an endorsement deal would be at the time. Such ethic and morals should’ve been evident when Boseman was fired from All My Children for refusing to portray a stereotype for the sake of daytime drama.
After Chad’s first script, they literally said, “Oh, here’s your next script, and your mother’s a crackhead and your father left.” And he goes, “I’m not playing those images,” and he went into the writers room, and they fired him. I remember him and Tessa were offered a movie, it was about two slaves, and he was like, “I do not want to perpetuate slavery.” It was like, “We’re not going to keep perpetuating the stereotypes,” and that’s why he wanted to show men of strength and of character.
With the future of Black Panther now in limbo, there’s talk about everything from Letitia Wright’s Shuri taking the mantle of the Black Panther to the writers somehow using the Infinity Stones in the story to bring Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger back to life and have him sit on the Wakandan throne and be it’s protector. Truth be told we feel they should just leave the franchise alone and maybe in the future introduce a new Black Panther from an alternate Marvel universe as it’s already been revealed that the Marvel Multi-Verse is going to be a part of the MCU going forward. That way the legacy and memory of the MCU’s most beloved superhero can live forever in our hearts.
Rest In Power, King.