Posted on February 14, 2023

France Slams Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Over Depiction of Its Army in Africa

AFP, February 13, 2023

Paris’ defence minister on Sunday condemned the latest instalment of Marvel’s Black Panther franchise, which depicts French troops caught trying to steal resources belonging to the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda.

“I strongly condemn this false and deceptive representation of our armed forces,” Sébastien Lecornu wrote on Twitter, responding to a clip from the November movie posted by a journalist.

The scene turns on a group of bound French soldiers being brought into a UN meeting, embarrassing Paris’ ambassador to the world body, after they were caught on a secret mission to a Wakandan base in Mali.

Journalist Jean Bexon, who posted the Black Panther clip, noted, “The evil French mercenaries operating in Mali are dressed like soldiers from Operation Barkhane,” a real-life military mission.

France is particularly sensitive to its image in West Africa after military juntas in Mali and Burkina Faso demanded the departure of French troops, deployed to the Sahel region since 2013 to fight jihadists.

“I am thinking of and honouring the 58 French soldiers who died defending Mali, at its request, in the face of Islamist terrorist groups,” Lecornu wrote.

The defence ministry told AFP that France was not calling for withdrawal or censorship of a work of art.