Marvel fans didn't know whether to laugh or cry when it was revealed that the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) had Black Panther's (fictional) homeland Wakanda listed as one of America's real life Free Trade partners. The listing was made as part of a Tariff Tracker the USDA put together, and naturally raised fan questions about what the hell is going on over at the USDA - and whether or not Wakanda's new open trade policy at the end of the Black Panther movie had any effect on the decision 😂 .
Of course, we're just poking fun at this little mishap, but only because the USDA is already leaning in and having a little fun with its mistake. As you can see below, the USDA Twitter account posted an official statement, which wasn't so much official in its statement, as it was humorous. Check it out, below:
"While we removed the Kingdom of Wakanda from our list of US free trade partners, our relationship will always be strong #WakandaForever" --Dept. of Agriculture
So as you can see, the USDA is not without a sense of self-depracating humor. But still... this was a pretty ridiculous representation of what's going on inside the US government right now. Potentially major economic decisions like tariffs are being made, and the list of countries potentially affected by those decisions includes a fictional country!
One of the funniest things about Marvel Studios' Black Panther was how the film built the culture and customs of Wakanda so well, that it became a pop-culture phenomenon. At the same time, the fascination with Wakanda also revealed the lack of knowledge about real-life African cultures and customs. It's a similar sentiment with this USDA mishap: either someone in the organization has a twisted sense of humor, or there's just a lack of knowledge when it comes to Africa - to the point that a fictional country sounds just as good as a real one.
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.