It’s fair to say at this point that Black Panther is a pretty important movie (and not just because it’s making boatloads of money for Marvel). The film has received heaps of praise for its cultural significance and black representation.
One of the film’s many proponents is former First Lady Michelle Obama, who took to Twitter last week to sing Black Panther’s praises, noting that “young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen.”
Congrats to the entire #blackpanther team! Because of you, young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen. I loved this movie and I know it will inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find the courage to be heroes of their own stories.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) February 19, 2018
Of course, highlighting the positive impact a movie will have on millions of children around the world is considered a controversial viewpoint in some circles and it didn’t take long for Twitter trolls to start replying to Obama’s tweet. One such individual was Federalist writer DC McAllister, who asked why 2004’s Catwoman didn’t receive this type of response 14 years ago.
It says a lot that you are arguing black americans should have been satisfied w/ a movie that was written by white people, directed by a white man, had a cast that was 95% white, was universally panned by critics, and was released. . . when?
Oh right: 14 years ago.
— Mangy Jay (@magi_jay) February 22, 2018
While McAllister does have a point about the significance of Berry — a black actress — being cast in a superhero movie nearly 15 years ago, she misses the larger story of Catwoman simply being a terrible movie with no cultural currency— one that even Berry herself hates. Berry was awarded Worst Actress for her performance at that year’s Razzies and even accepted the award in person, thanking Warner Bros. “for putting me in a piece of s–t, godawful movie.” Additionally, she also thanked “the writers, all of 20 of them, for thinking this was a good idea. It wasn’t, but thank you.”
One of those 20 writers (who claims there were actually between six and 12 writers), John Rogers, also weighed in on McAllister’s comments, labeling her take as a “bad” one. “As one of the credited writers on CATWOMAN, I believe I have the authority to say: because it was a s–t movie dumped by the studio at the end of a style cycle, and had zero cultural relevance either in front of or behind the camera.”
As one of the credited writers of CATWOMAN, I believe I have the authority to say: because it was a shit movie dumped by the studio at the end of a style cycle, and had zero cultural relevance either in front of or behind the camera.
This is a bad take. Feel shame. https://t.co/6sth7w38Xx
— John Rogers (@jonrog1) February 24, 2018
In other words, Black Panther isn’t the first superhero movie to feature a predominately black cast but it is the first to do it this well. Now, can we all go back to forgetting that Catwoman is a thing that exists?