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Disney Called Out For Using White Performer to Portray Black Character During Meet and Greet

Black Panther White Actor meet and greet

When visiting a Disney Park or having fun on a Disney Cruise, there are so many fun things to do. Guests can eat at one-of-a-kind restaurants, see Broadway-caliber shows, and ride fun attractions (yes, even on a cruise ship!), and so much more. On both land and sea, Guests can also meet some of their favorite Disney characters, whether they be from the Fab 5, Disney Princess, or superheroes.

Unfortunately, one of those meet and greets is getting roasted by fans who found it completely unacceptable.

Character Meet and Greet

Credit Disney

Twitter user ProfessionalDepressional (@Victor_L_A) shared a photo of a Black Panther meet and greet that appeared to be on the Disney Cruise Line. As many people know, Black Panther was Marvel’s first black superhero, portrayed by Chadwick Boseman in several films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sadly, Boseman passed away in 2020, but instead of recasting his character, another powerful character in the Black Panther family took over the role.

Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Credit: Marvel

Black Panther characters have been a part of Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line for a while, bringing a lot of representation and meaning to fans around the world. However, Disney’s recent casting choice has many scratching their heads, and even more people angry. The picture showed Black Panther posing, but the performer they chose was white.

Oh NO.

The picture quickly began making the rounds on DisTwitter, with many shocked that Disney would make such a call, especially since February 1 marked the start of Black History Month.

DCA starting off black history month with a high note. ?

Others pointed out that several people had to approve of the casting choice.

More than one person said this was ok.

In recent months, Disney has been getting a fair share of backlash for its live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. The controversy surrounds Disney’s choice for Ariel, Halle Bailey, a black woman. However, as one Twitter user pointed out, race isn’t integral to the story of The Little Mermaid, but it helps shape the story of Black Panther.

Look there are some things like this that I’m less likely to have any passion around. Like, I don’t care at all about the color of The Little Mermaid’s skin (because the story never specifies her race). But this… this is a character where their race is key to the story. Not ok.

Now, in the film, the Black Panther’s eyes are covered, so they can never be seen. Some pointed out that Disney costumes also have this as an option, and they were surprised that Disney didn’t go that route; that way no one would ever know what race the performer was.

It was not clear which Disney Cruise ship this was on. The Disney Cruise Line consists of five ships – the Disney Dream, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wish.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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