By Jenna Amatulli, HUFFPOST, Black Voices
Created by a user named Chaz Gormley, the petition’s description said that Marvel and Walt Disney Co. have “targeted the black community with their advertisements” for the film.
“Through a clever, well-manufactured marketing campaign Marvel Studios and their parent company The Walt Disney Company have targeted the Black community with their advertisements for the upcoming ‘Black Panther’ film, due to release on February 16, 2018. As marginalized groups have become more vocal, corporations and their savvy public relations departments have turned to catering to these groups – to turn a profit – and this film by Marvel Studios is no different,” the petition reads.
Gormley goes on to say that while it is a “symbolic victory” to see a major studio film with a majority black cast, black director and art direction helmed by black artists, this achievement doesn’t gain anything for the black community. He cites that Marvel’s marketing campaign has targeted black customers specifically by releasing the film during Black History Month and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” playing in the background of the film’s initial trailer.
The petition asks that the studios stop simply asking for money from black customers with a film like this, but rather put their money where their mouth is and agree to set aside 25 percent of their worldwide profit “to be allocated for investment in black communities, and in programs within these communities that focus on S.T.E.M.”
“We cannot continue to recklessly support these conglomerates, allowing them to profit off of us without demanding something more than just their products in return,” Gormley writes. “We have the ability to change the conditions our communities and us as a people face, by leveraging the strongest resources we have: our strength in numbers, and our combined ‘spending power.’”
Additionally, the petition states that those who sign are “taking a stand” and refuse to see the film unless Marvel and Walt Disney Co. agree to these demands.
“You have the ability to not only be entertained, but to leave the theater in February knowing that a portion of your money will be coming back into your community,” Gormley wrote.
“To not only go see a film about a fictitious country in Africa with advanced technology, but the opportunity to invest in programs which focus on the fields – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – that make such advancements possible, in real life.”
The petition currently has over 600 signatures and many have remarked on what it’s asking for on Twitter and YouTube:
Marvel and Walt Disney Co. did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the petition, which is asking supporters to use the #BreakBreadMarvel/#BreakBreadDisney hashtags.
Gormley also writes at the end of his petition description that while you could go to the theater and make “wealthy companies even wealthier,” it’s crucial to understand this:
“The revolution will not be televised, because the revolution is here – the revolution is in the people.”