There were a lot of things that brought me joy this weekend, like watching Sad Tom Brady lose and watching Twitter drag Justin Timberlake on Janet Jackson Appreciation Day (#NeverForget). The Black Panther press tour continues to be a constant source of joy. This weekend, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan kicked off the global leg of the Greatest Press Tour of All Time in Seoul, South Korea.
Sarah doesn’t think I’m going to survive the Black Panther press tour.
Considering I threw my phone across the room and screamed at this photo of Lupita and MBJ arriving in Seoul, she’s not wrong. I may survive but my phone may not.
I mean, HOW CUTE ARE THEY? They look like newlyweds who just touched down for their honeymoon. COME ON. I don’t like imagining Michael Bae Jordan with anyone else but if he has to be with anyone other than me, I’d only be OK if it was Lupita. If you were watching their Instagram stories all weekend, (if you weren’t, fix your life), you know that their dynamic is more like brother/sister than passionate, undercover in-love co-stars but I don’t care. They look so ridiculously good together they should get married for the pictures alone.
Is your heart still beating? Do you need to be resuscitated? Just me?
Chadwick Boseman and Ryan Coogler were in Seoul too. It wasn’t just a romantic getaway for Lupita and MBJ. At the presser, Chadwick and Ryan looked equally dapper (goddamn) and they offered more insight into why Black Panther is so special. When a Korean reporter tried to compare T’Challa and Eric Killmonger to Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, Chadwick shut it down with a classy response.
"I understand [this observation] from an emotional standpoint and in terms of [the characters'] demeanor standpoint but not in terms of philosophy… Wakanda didn't have to deal with colonialism and slavery because of its isolationism, whereas Dr. King and Malcom X had to deal with these issues. [Black Panther and Erik Killmonger's] reality is not at all dictated by European white society. These two characters exist in their own mythology. Also, Malcom X was never as militant, as ruthless as Erik Killmonger."
Their “reality is not dictated by European white society.” No spoilers but this statement is a key component to why Black Panther is so incredible. Wakanda has never been colonized. The country’s struggles are not in reaction to tyranny or systemic persecution. This movie is not about oppressed black people, like so many others are. And comparing Malcolm X to villainous Eric Killmonger is an insult that Chadwick could have brushed off. The MLK Jr. comparison is also a stretch but instead of blowing off the question, Chadwick gave a thoughtful, intelligent response that captured the essence of Wakanda. THIS is how you sell a movie.
Wakanda Forever. Black Panther Press Tour Forever.