France Government Slams Black Panther 2 Scene: 'False and Deceptive'

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Black Panther 2, Ramonda

A French military chief has a bone to pick with Marvel Studios for its "false and deceptive" representation of his country's soldiers in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Black Panther 2 offered the deepest dive yet into international politics within the MCU, as Wakanda and Talokan waged war on one another while the rest of the world continued its pursuit of the precious metal vibranium.

Although the two primary countries involved in the conflict are Marvel's fictional creations, as the MCU has done many times before, certain elements of Wakanda Forever somewhat resemble real-world events.

For example, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Black Widow leaked classified SHIELD documents to the world, exposing its surveillance of everyday citizens. Those events closely mirror Edward Snowden's real-world leak of NSA documents that proved the government organization was spying on citizens.

Other Disney projects have also done similar things in using parallels to offer commentary on real-world dynamics. In many ways, Disney+'s Andor plays as a criticism of the world under former US President Donald Trump, except taking place in Star Wars' galaxy far, far away. 

France Criticizes Black Panther 2's 'False' Representation

A high-ranking French government official, Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu, shared a clip from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that featured French soldiers to condemn the "false" representation of his nation's military from Marvel Studios.

Black Panther 2, Wakanda Forever, UN, France
Marvel Studios

The scene in question comes from early in the film as bound French military personnel are dragged into a UN meeting by the Dora Milaje following their thwarted attempt to steal vibranium belonging to Wakanda.

Black Panther 2, Wakanda Forever, UN, France
Marvel Studios

Translated to English, Lecornu called the representation "false and deceptive," adding his remembrance of the fallen French soldiers who died defending the West African country of Mali:

"I strongly condemn this false and deceptive representation of our armed forces. I am thinking of and honouring the 58 French soldiers who died defending Mali, at its request, in the face of Islamist terrorist groups."

Journalist Jean Bexon - the original poster of the clip - pointed out that the costumes worn by the French soldiers in Black Panther 2 closely resemble those worn during the real-life Operation Barkhane.

The military endeavor in question refers to France's eight-year fight against Islamic terror groups in the Sahel region of Africa which resulted in 53 French casualties.

Operation Barkhane came to an end in November 2022 due to France's difficulty working with the governments in the Sahel region, having had its departure demanded by military leaders in Mali and Burkina Faso.

France's defense ministry told AFP that it is not seeking to censor art, but insists "no revisionism can be allowed" regarding the nation's military activity in Mali:

"No revisionism can be allowed about France's recent actions in Mali: we intervened at the county's own request to fight armed terrorist groups, far from the story told in the film, namely a French army coming to pillage natural resources."

Sources close to Lecornu have stated the defense minister was "angry at seeing the film" and how it represented the French military.

As of now, it's unclear whether Marvel Studios or the crew behind Black Panther 2 will offer any response to the French defense minister's comments.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is streaming now on Disney+.

- In This Article: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release Date
November 11, 2022
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.