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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's Queer Rep Allegedly Disappoints

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's Queer Rep Allegedly Disappoints

Michael Coel
Marvel Entertainment/YouTube

The MCU's predictability when it comes to blink-and-you-miss-it LGBTQ+ rep continues.


Anticipations are high for Marvel’s upcoming sequel to Black Panther, but it sounds like this is yet another instance where LGBTQ+ fans have been hyped up only to be let down.

We learned last month that Michaela Coel’s character, Aneka, would be queer and in a relationship with another Dora Milaje, Ayo (Florence Kasumba). The actress has spoken previously about how that was a big part of what drew her to the role, as she wanted to “show that to Ghana,” where her parents are from.

The more optimistic MCU fans wondered if this might be an opportunity for a Marvel movie to include a queer character or a queer relationship in a meaningful way.

The rest of us knew better than to hold our breaths — and unfortunately, it sounds like we were right.

YouTuber Grace Randolph provided an early review of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in which she says Coel gave a strong performance, but the role itself was small.

“Unfortunately, her romance with Ayo has been almost entirely cut from the film except for a blink-and-you-miss-it kiss,” Randolph said, referring to a kiss on the forehead, at that.

This is par for the course when it comes to Marvel. Almost every single morsel of LGBTQ+ representation we have gotten from them on the big screen has been not only inconsequential, but the kind of thing that could be easily cut from a single scene should they need to appeal to broader or international audiences — and that has frequently been the case.

The sole exception thus far has been The Eternals, which included a married gay hero (Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry) who was actually allowed to kiss his husband on the lips.

Will Marvel ever start truly stepping it up with their inclusivity? Unfortunately, as they seem perfectly content with these minimal token gestures, there still doesn’t seem to be a reason to believe things will change anytime soon.

When is 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' coming out?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters November 11, 2022.

Who is starring in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?'

The cast for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever includes Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Florence Kasumba, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett.

Was T'Challa recast in the 'Black Panther' sequel?

The role of T'Challa was not recast after Chadwick Boseman's death, and the new film will acknowledge that the character died, as well.

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