Hours after announcing a screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, embattled Los Angeles Councilman Kevin de Léon postponed the event due to “rainy weather.”
De Léon, who previously took part in a racist conversation in which other council members made derogatory remarks about black people, announced Monday afternoon that he would be hosting Tuesday’s screening. He quickly changed his mind, seemingly unaware that criticism on the internet was beginning to mount.
“Due to the next severe storm and continued rainy weather, we have decided to reschedule the screening of Wakanda Forever to another date,” De Léon wrote on Facebook. “Our primary concern is everyone’s safety and we believe postponing the event is the best decision at this time.”
Five people had signed up for the event on Facebook at the time the screening was postponed, but many more questioned the councilor’s decision to host the film online.
LA City Council member Kevin de León – who was recorded having a racist conversation with other former council members in which he expressed his intention to disenfranchise LA’s black residents – will attend a screening of Black Panther: Wakanda on February 28th Forever,” reports Knock LA reporter Jon Peltz tweeted Monday afternoon.
“I can’t decide if it’s funnier that KDL scheduled this event on the last day of Black History Month or that he thinks showing a Marvel movie will heal his racism against Black Angelenos,” said one user wrote in response to Peltz’s tweet.
In 2018, Black Panther became the first Marvel Studios film with a black director (Ryan Coogler) and a predominantly black cast. It was celebrated for putting a stoic black superhero (played by the late Chadwick Boseman) in the utopian African city of Wakanda.
Its sequel, 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — which has won numerous awards, most notably for star Angela Bassett — followed Wakanda’s leaders as they struggled to protect their territory from opportunistic challengers.
Pete Brown, a De Léon representative, told the Times Monday the idea of showing Wakanda Forever came up in January. The councilor wanted to host an event to “raise awareness about children, particularly in black and brown communities.” Brown said he hadn’t seen the backlash on Twitter and reiterated plans to reschedule the appointment once the weather improves.
“We hear these voices all the time,” he said of the criticism that De Léon unleashed.
In October, an anonymous Reddit user leaked a inflammatory conversation between De Léon, former council leader Nury Martinez, former council member Gil Cedillo, and former Los Angeles County Federation of Labor president Ron Herrera.
In that conversation, which took place in October 2021, De Léon called former council member Mike Bonin the “fourth black member” of the council and accused Bonin of treating his adopted son, who is black, like Martinez carried her luxury handbags.
De Léon previously called his comments “completely inappropriate” and has defied calls for his fellow councillors’ resignation as protesters disrupted scores of council meetings. He is the only member who participated in the conversation who has not resigned or been terminated.
A petition to remove De Léon, which was reprimanded in October, was cleared to begin collecting signatures in December.
A representative from Disney, which hosts Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on its Disney+ streaming service, did not immediately respond to the Times request for comment.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2023-02-27/kevin-de-leon-postpones-wakanda-forever-screening-backlash Kevin de Léon postpones ‘Wakanda’ screening after uproar