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A video of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) performing the “Wakanda Forever” sign from the movie Black Panther made the rounds on Twitter today. The Gateway Pundit featured the clip in an article claiming it was Harris’ first ad of her 2020 presidential bid that she announced earlier this week.
But fans of late-night TV were quick to debunk that claim, as many recognized the video from where it originally aired: as part of a comedic sketch on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert back in April.
While the first few seconds of the video could make one think it’s a genuine campaign ad, that it’s a parody becomes apparent as soon as Harris begins speaking. “I am pleased to announce that I am running for the first ever senate seat of Wakanda,” she announces. Text reading “Kamala for Wakanda” flashes onscreen later in the video, seen in the clip The Gateway Pundit shared, which references her fictitious bid to lead Marvel’s hidden African metropolis.
Without cracking a smile, Harris details how she will lead the city out of its self-imposed seclusion. She’s even ready to grab a spear and join her constituents in battle, she says, prompting a still from the movie with her face Photoshopped on one of its characters. As if the parody wasn’t obvious enough, she goes on to reference vibranium, Wakanda’s equally fictional leading resource, as well as the movie’s main antagonist, Erik Killmonger.
“What a nut,” wrote Jim Hoft, the Gateway Pundit article’s author, apparently mistaking the comedy sketch for a real ad. Other Twitter users from both sides of the political spectrum appeared to be fooled, as well, judging from comments like “OMG. How in God’s Good Name did we arrive here” and “we couldn’t make this up.” Some users speculated the video would trounce Harris’ presidential aspirations.
KAMALA HARRIS CANNOT BE SERIOUS, SHE CAN’t https://t.co/R7OUavj0Q4— Bon Vivant (@Un_Bon_Vivant) January 24, 2019
WTF is this? She was too green to be running for POTUS already but this really slams the door on any aspirations she may have. If Im in a debate with @KamalaHarris , I'm ending every debate answer with Wakanda Forever. #WakandaForever #YouFuckedUp #Why pic.twitter.com/D0Mhr8Iiai— DandyDon (@GetPaidPicks) January 24, 2019
Given that Harris recently hired several alumni from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, many wondered if the video was a stunt to connect with younger voters. Clinton was ribbed relentlessly for her failed attempts to relate to millennials during the 2016 election.
She really wants to secure that black vote— Chris Dankmingos (@_chrisdomingos_) January 24, 2019
Though several users quickly jumped to explain the video was a parody, it continues to circulate with astonished captions as if it were the real deal.
Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.