February 1, 2024

Who is Gay in Black Panther 2?

The rumors that Chinese censors will ban screenings of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever because it shows a lesbian romance are true, and it's not the first time that Marvel Studios has been accused of baiting the LGBTQ community with minor characters that display a hint of sexuality. The studio's 2021 movie, The Eternals, featured Brian Tyree Henry's flamboyant character Phastos as the MCU's first openly gay superhero, while 2019's Avengers: End Game featured a non-superhero LGBTQ moment featuring Danai Gurira and Florence Kasumba's characters in a grief support group following Thanos's decimation of half the world.

The latest installment of the franchise, though, appears to be going even further in its representation of the LGBTQIA+ community, and this has led to the censorship of a small moment in the film. Black Panther 2 introduces the MCU's third queer relationship with Aneka, played by Michaela Coel, a Dora Milaje warrior in a love affair with Ayo (played by Florence Kasumba). Coel previously told Vogue that her role was a big draw because it would allow her to help tackle antigay laws in Ghana, where her parents were born and raised.

Unfortunately, it's been reported that censors in Kuwait have demanded cuts to the film for the same reason - this is a country with some of the strictest anti-LGBTQ laws in the world. As such, it's likely that the kiss between Coel and Kasumba will be removed from the film in that region, although it will still screen uncut in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain, which have banned previous Marvel films for similar reasons.

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