Black Panther, set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature a black lead actor and a predominantly black cast. In NME‘s review it was named “the best Marvel movie yet”.
When stars Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) and Danai Gurira (Okoye) appeared on The One Show to discuss the film yesterday (February 9), Jeremy Vine said: “Chadwick, it is a remarkable film, it’s very different the film that you’re both in, because you go in the cinema and it is overwhelmingly a black cast.”
In response to Vine’s remark Boseman paused and smiled, responding: “Yeah, I guess that is very striking,” before joining in with an outbreak of laugher from the audience and continuing: “It’s weird because I’m used to it now, having been on this film for over a year, with this family of people… because we carried part of that cast into Infinity War. So it’s sort of a normal thing. I don’t go to work every day going: ‘Wow I’m around all these black people.'” The moment can be seen at the 16:25 mark on iPlayer.
On Twitter, Vine’s wording was labelled “strange and uncomfortable”. The man himself was called a “typical middle-aged white male” by one user, while another remarked: “no one called Avengers: Age of Ultron ‘overwhelmingly white'”, adding that the moment was “a stark example of racism being solidly entrenched”.
I literally can’t believe the matey on The One Show asked Chadwick Boseman about the ‘overwhelmingly’ black cast in Black Panther. Typical middle aged white male rlly
— amy? (@amsguss) February 9, 2018
Whoa, how is Jeremy Vine gonna say to @chadwickboseman that #BlackPanther has an 'Overwhelmingly Black Cast doesn't it?' on #TheOneShow?!?! Was he expecting a role of the King of an African country to be played by Meryl Streep??? ??
— Swami Baracus (@SwamiBaracus) February 9, 2018
Jeremy vine is failing at this interview with the black panther cast. Did he just say overwhelmingly black cast #oneshow
— Kay Vee (@kayvee_1909) February 9, 2018
Am I the only person that watched Jeremy Vine refer to the Black Panther cast as 'overwhelmingly black'?
— Big Homie (@ImJusSaiyan) February 10, 2018
Jeremy Vine’s choice of ‘overwhelmingly black’ to describe how he felt when watching Black Panther is a somewhat strange and uncomfortable choice of phrase.
— matthew sollars (@solsey) February 9, 2018
Jeremy Vine talking to Chadwick Boseman and Danai Gurira: Black Panther… is an OVERWHELMINGLY black cast
Chadwick and Danai: pic.twitter.com/RuYFCWcaX4
— Splat Diamonds (@OKaysional) February 9, 2018
After the show had aired Vine shared a selfie with the cast on Twitter, writing: “The Black Panther movie is exceptional – classic blockbuster but maybe a moment of cultural change in Hollywood.”
The #BlackPanther movie is exceptional — classic blockbuster but maybe a moment of cultural change in Hollywood. @missalexjones and I on @BBCTheOneShow sofa with @ChadwickBoseman and @DanaiGurira, and John Simm. Thanks all for coming in pic.twitter.com/P5csp8g3LK
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) February 9, 2018
Black Panther is in UK cinemas from Monday, February 12.