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France’s defense minister has slammed Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for its portrayal of his country’s military in Africa.
“I strongly condemn this false and misleading representation of our Armed Forces. I think of and pay tribute to the 58 French soldiers who died defending Mali at its request against Islamist terrorist groups,” Sébastien Lecornu said on his Twitter account on Sunday
The Black Panther sequel directed by Ryan Coogler portrays Wakanda as an independent African nation resisting the grasp of colonizers hungry for its natural resources. Lecornu was responding to a series of Feb. 11 tweets by French journalist Jean Bexon where he noted the similarity of the military uniforms worn by the villainous mercenaries and those of France’s army in the 1991 Gulf War.
“In the latest American Marvel production (Black Panther Wakanda Forever), the evil French mercenaries operating in Mali are dressed as Operation Barkhane soldiers,” Bexon said on his Twitter account as he referenced the camouflaged Gulf War uniforms worn by French military forces.
The Black Panther sequel storyline is sensitive for France as its military soldiers in 2022 left Mali and were replaced by Russia’s Wagner mercenary group at the request of that African country’s transitional government. That arrival of mercenaries in Mali is seen as Russia attempting to outflank the Americans in Africa.
In the Marvel movie, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira return to defend their grieving nation from a new threat in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever follow-up that is also widely seen as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman.
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