Even though the cast boasts two Oscar winners, Forest Whitaker and Lupita Nyong’o, in addition to Academy Award nominated Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan and Emmy-nominatedted Phylicia Rashad, Kit initially noted that “Black Panther” features an unprecedented predominantly black cast and no A-listers.”
After Kit’s comments were met with fierce criticism from black and white readers, the article was edited and updated from “no A-listers” to “no box office titans.”
Reviewers and writers such as Kit, who work for high-traffic, white-owned publications, are convinced that if a film lacks white faces, or the ever-present white male hero, then it lacks A list talent. Such a attitude contiunes to expose Hollywood’s growing racial divide.
One reader of Kit’s piece wrote, “No A-Listers” I guess Academy Award Winner Lupita Nyong’o hasn’t paid her dues?”
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Another commenter posted: “No A-Listers? Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o? Oh let me guess…the only black actor that counts as A-list to y’all is Denzel, right?”
And yet another stated: “How did this man fix his keyboard to type the phrase “no A-listers” when you’ve got Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Sterling K. Brown, Michael B. Jordan and Danai Gurira all appearing in this film. You can throw in Phylicia Rashad as well. You’ve got performers who can go head to head or OUT-act many of the so called “A-listers,” actors who can pull in numbers, and actors who can bring in critical claim and awards — some that can do all three and yet they’re not “A-listers.”
Continuing, “And you can say it’s about money, but when actors of color across the board from TV to film have historically been grossly underpaid, it’s about way more than just money.”
Best of all was the reader who pointed out that“Box office titans” isnt a thing anymore.
“Even Johnny Depp, The Rock, and Tom Cruise had flops this year. Its all about the actual movie and the cast as a whole that sells movies nowadays,” the reader responded.
“Black Panther lands in the top 3 of most-watched Marvel trailer content,” Kit reports — adding that the film “surpasses the views for teasers for top Marvel and Disney-released movies such as “Captain America: Civil War” (61 million), “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (55 million) and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (52 million).”
One noteworthy mention from Kit’s coverage is that “Black Panther” also generated 349,000 Twitter mentions in 24 hours. That’s more mentions than the NBA game during which it debuted, second only to the launch of the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi teaser.”
“Black Panther” is set for theatrical release in 2018.