Sean "Diddy" Combs Calls 'Black Panther' a "Cruel Experiment"

Black Panther was an incredible success for Marvel Studios and superhero films in general, and Sean Combs thinks it is the perfect example of just how wrong-minded Hollywood has been.

Combs is known for creating Bad Boy Records as well as other successful forays into fashion, television, and more. He spoke to Variety about several topics, including the hurdles that Hip-Hop culture still has to overcome, and it starts at the top.

“You have these record companies that are making so much money off our culture, our art form, but they’re not investing or even believing in us,” Combs said. “For all the billions of dollars that these black executives have been able to make them, [there’s still hesitation] to put them in the top-level positions. They’ll go and they’ll recruit cats from overseas. It makes sense to give [executives of color] a chance and embrace the evolution, instead of it being that we can only make it to president, senior VP. … There’s no black CEO of a major record company. That’s just as bad as the fact that there are no [black] majority owners in the NFL. That’s what really motivates me.”

Combs also identifies that as a hesitancy in Hollywood, despite the fact that when given a chance on a big platform you have hits like Black Panther.

“‘Black Panther’ was a cruel experiment,” Combs said, “because we live in 2018, and it’s the first time that the film industry gave us a fair playing field on a worldwide blockbuster, and the hundreds of millions it takes to make it.”

Combs sees harnessing those resources as a way to get around the Hollywood gatekeepers.

“We only get 5% of the venture capital invested in things that are black owned — black-owned businesses, black-owned ideas, black-owned IP,” he says. “You can’t do anything without that money, without resources. But when we do get the resources, we over-deliver. When Adidas invests in Kanye and it’s done properly, you have the right results. When Live Nation invests in artists and puts them in arenas the same way U2 would be, you have the right results. ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Black-ish,’ fashion; it’s all about access. If you’re blocked out of the resources, you can’t compete. And that’s my whole thing — to be able to come and compete.”


Black Panther was immensely successful at the box office, bringing in over $1.3 billion worldwide. It will also be getting a sequel though no release date for that project has been announced.

So, what do you think of Combs' comments? Let us know!