The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has done it again. It has beeped out an otherwise un-offensive word in Marvel’s Black Panther. The superhero flick, which has been receiving rave reviews by audiences worldwide made a reference to Lord Hanuman.
In one of the scenes planted as an easter egg for fans in India, M’Baku, leader of a tribe called ‘Jabari’ made a reference to Lord Hanuman and said “Glory to Hanuman”. Much to the chagrin of fans, the word was been beeped out by the CBFC. The ‘Jabari’ tribe is known for worshipping the gorilla god, who has been called “Man-Ape” in the comics. The word was changed to “Hanuman” in the film.
The actor who plays M’Baku (Winston Duke) spoke about “contextualizing the Jabari religion” in the film to as to not offend any sensibilities in an interview with Vanity Fair.
"“They haven’t been affected by colonialism and all the narratives that are associated with developing a sense of inferiority and people comparing them to animals. To them, this is just who they pray to, and they find their strength and agency in this religion. So being a bit gorilla-influenced was a sense of pride for them”." - Duke to Vanity Fair
Seeing as M’Baku is the ruler of “Gorilla City”, it could’ve been the perfect nod for fans in India, but sadly, most would have to live it either reading lips or completely missing the moment in Black Panther.
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