Some Marvel fans were left upset Sunday after the cast of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther neglected to thank late Marvel Comics visionary Stan Lee when accepting the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The ensemble prize — the final and biggest award of the night — was accepted by stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Sterling K. Brown, Andy Serkis and Angela Bassett.
In his moving acceptance speech, T’Challa star Chadwick Boseman thanked “genius” director Ryan Coogler, Disney executives Bob Iger and Alan Horn, producers Nate Moore and Victoria Alonso, Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito, and Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige.
Twitter users are now expressing disappointment Boseman failed to mention Lee or Jack Kirby, who co-created the character in the pages of 1966’s Fantastic Four #52. Commentators were also upset Lee was not included in the ceremony’s in memoriam segment.
Jordan made specific mention of Lee and Kirby backstage to assembled press when offering first comments after the win, pointing to the world “Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created years ago” as the foundation for Black Panther’s success and subsequent films in the franchise.
Boseman previously paid tribute to Lee, who made cameo appearances in almost every Marvel-inspired film, days after the 95-year-old comic book creator died November 12.
“I know how much you loved Joan,” Boseman wrote on Twitter of Lee’s wife of 69 years, who died in 2017 aged 93. “The only way we should send you home is to celebrate.”
Boseman performed a touching sendoff for Lee with a set of djembe drums, saying in the video, “Stan, that’s for you. That’s how I am sending you to the other side. That’s how they will receive you on the other. I love you, man.”
“You were always aware of all those social issues, but I wasn't writing political stories or social stories. I was just trying to write stories that people of all ages and sexes would enjoy reading. If we touched on any issue, I did it very lightly,” Lee told Huffington Post in 2016, the same year Boseman’s T’Challa clawed his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a breakout character in Captain America: Civil War.
“It wasn’t a huge deal to me. It was a very normal natural thing,” Lee added of crafting Marvel’s first black superhero, who preceded the Falcon, Black Goliath and Luke Cage.
“A good many of our people here in America are not white. You’ve got to recognize that and you’ve got to include them in whatever you do.”
“To be young, gifted and black, we all know what it’s like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured. Yet you are young, gifted and black. We know what it’s like to be told there’s not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on, we know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath, and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day,” Boseman said in his SAG Awards speech before being forced into closing remarks by playoff music.
“Because we knew not that we would be around during awards season or that it would make a billion dollars, but we knew that we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing, that we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.”
Boseman subsequently teased Black Panther 2, to again be penned and directed by Coogler.
... and thank you to Stan Lee for creating an amazing character and world in the Marvel universe.... missed the mark there panther. Smh— Halyna Masiar (@QuestnEvrythn19) January 28, 2019
@chadwickboseman Happy for you and the cast. Well-deserved! But please don't forget to give Stan Lee his due, especially this year.— M.J. Shumaker (@MJShumaker2) January 28, 2019
No mention of Stan Lee why? Just wondering— GumpJr (@GumpJr1) January 28, 2019
Great acceptance speech by Chadwick, but I wish he would have also thanked @TheRealStanLee and Jack Kirby, for without them creating the character Black Panther, there wouldn't have been a movie for the cast to shine with their performances.— Sean Blair (@ElLocoGaijin) January 28, 2019
#SAGAwards— Ray Nichols (@grandsonofsam) January 28, 2019
how do you accept an award for a Marvel movie in 2019 without a thank you to the man behind it? rest in peace Stan Lee. We miss you.
You didnt thank Stan Lee. You wouldn't be standing there if it weren't for Stan Lee. Black Panther was a great comic but this movie was fair at best.— LuvsJDMorgan (@DevonaD1) January 28, 2019
Congrats to all, but no mention of the great Stan Lee for creating this character? Disappointing...— Stef D. (@stefdug04) January 28, 2019
Congrats Black Panther for winning best cast. You thanked a lot of people, but left out Stan Lee.— Kurt Kuczynski (@kurtkuczynski) January 28, 2019
He was kinda important, don’t you think.#SAGAwards
How do you thank Kevin Feige, but not Stan Lee and Jack Kirby?— ⚡️Chelsea⚡️ (@thepolariszone) January 28, 2019
And thank you to Stan Lee for creating an amazing character and world in the Marvel universe.........— Halyna Masiar (@QuestnEvrythn19) January 28, 2019