“Black Panther” fans took to social media to express outrage after a blog post suggested that the Pin Traders store in Disney World’s Spring Marketplace is selling a Black Panther pin that features T’Challa wearing a black mask over a white face.
However, Polygram reports that a camera flash may have lightened the skin tone.
The image above kicked off the controversy and was first reported by The Disney Pin Blog.The website is not an official Disney site but it’s dedicated to reporting on official Disney parks pins.
The pin is described as an “open edition pin spotted at Walt Disney World featuring Marvel’s Black Panther,” selling for $12.99.
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Ryan Mondics, owner and editor of The Disney Pin Blog, told Polygon that the photo was taken by the website’s staff and uploaded by his team.
Two photos were taken by Mondics. The first was used on the blog; the second (above) is without a flash and shows Black Panther with a lighter tone, but not outwardly caucasian.
“We are getting lots of negative feedback,” Mondics told Polygon, of reaction to the pin’s appearance.
Mondics said he did not use Photoshop or any image-editing software on it. A flash was used to take the photo, making T’Challa’s underlying skin tone appear lighter.
A similar image to the second one appeared on an eBay listing sent to Polygon (see below). The skin tone is notably darker than the images above.
Fans noted on Twitter that the skin tone on the pin should match that of both the character and the actor portraying him, Chadwick Boseman.