France defense minister has criticised Marvel for their ‘false’ and ‘misleading’ depiction of its armed forces in the Marvel Studios superhero film ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘
Sebastian Lecornu, France’s youngest cabinet minister at 36, hit out at the representation of his nation’s soldiers as rapacious looters in the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda in the second instalment of the superhero franchise.
A scene from the film retweeted by the minister shows a group of soldiers with their hands tied behind their backs, wearing uniforms very similar to those of French troops deployed in Africa‘s Sahel region, being brought before the United Nations in Geneva.
The movie scene depicts mercenaries captured by Wakandans after they attacked an outpost in Mali.
‘I strongly condemn this false and deceptive representation of our armed forces,’ Mr Lecornu wrote on Twitter.
‘I am thinking of and honoring the 58 French soldiers who died defending Mali, at its request, in the face of Islamist terrorist groups,’ Lecornu said.
The issue is sensitive in France, which completed its withdrawal from Mali last year after nine years fighting Islamic extremists alongside regional troops.
According to CBS, tensions have also grown over the past year between Mali, its African neighbors and Western nations after Mali’s transitional government allowed Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group to deploy on its territory.
His comment came in response to a series of tweets by Jean Bexon, a French journalist who has often written about what he calls the ‘anti-French’ sentiment of the film and its director Ryan Coogler.
Journalist Jean Bexon, had posted the Black Panther clip, noted, ‘The evil French mercenaries operating in Mali are dressed like soldiers from Operation Barkhane,’ a real-life military mission in the Sahel region.