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A handful of people attempted to sabotage the premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther by falsely claiming they were attacked by black moviegoers when they tried to see the film. It hasn’t gone well for these fakers. First, they were called out in the media, and now they’re being gleefully mocked all over Twitter.
In a slew of parody posts, jokesters are trying to one-up each other with comically unbelievable tales of being attacked at Black Panther showings. The idea is to take the original tweets, which already beggared belief, and crank the absurdity level up even higher.
Many have seized on a phrase that stuck out in one of the fake tweets—”this movie ain’t for you, whitey”—as a particularly ludicrous white-people assumption about the way black people talk, and that phrase now forms the core of the joke.
I tried to see Black Panther but I was accosted by a gang of black youths, they said “this movie isn’t for you, whitey!” then pinned me down and carved “Go see Peter Rabbit instead” into my forehead— pixelated boat [ASMR] binaural ~4 hours~ (@pixelatedboat) February 17, 2018
I tried to see Black Panther today and someone said, hey I bet you can't hit my fastball whitey, and I was like, yeah, I bet I can. Then this happened smh. pic.twitter.com/Omq0bzNR0i— C.D. Carter (@CDCarter13) February 17, 2018
I want to see Black Panther but when I tried a gang of black youths said "this movie isn't for you" before rolling me up into a ball shape and dunking me through a nearby basketball hoop.— Heck the Planet (@Mr_Finn_McCool) February 17, 2018
I tried to see Black Panther but a teenager shouted "this movie's not for you" and then a graffiti artist tagged me, then another guy covered me in clay and sold me at an art auction? I fetched $1700— MKupperman (@MKupperman) February 17, 2018
Some of the jokes flip the races in the original fake tweets, replacing Black Panther with the whitest movie they can think of:
This is @trentylocks. He was jumped just trying to see the movie Paddington 2. "This movie ain't for you, cracker" was the last thing he heard before he was beat up by 2 small children. He didn't even make it inside of the movie theater. Smh pic.twitter.com/f2Mkc5c406— . (@sam_ash) February 18, 2018
This is my cousin Jameer. He was on his way to see the new movie Fifty Shades Freed and a mob of white people said go watch your Black Jaguar movie blackey and jumped him. Smh. pic.twitter.com/wxbmODcIs7— ASTROWORLD BEST ALBUM EVER‼️ (@Jsprings11) February 18, 2018
This is my older brother Adonis. He was jumped just trying to see the movie Exodus Gods & Kings. "This movie ain't for you blackey" was the last thing he heard before he was beat up by 2 white men, rupturing his eardrum. He didn't even make it inside of the movie theater. Smh pic.twitter.com/zp1VdLFv1q— Matthee A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) February 18, 2018
This meme is darkly funny if you can forget the stupid reason it even exists: because of a few people who hated the idea of a popular black Marvel superhero so much, they faked injuries to discredit it. Remember Ashley Todd, the 2008 John McCain supporter who carved a “B” into her own forehead and blamed it on the Obama campaign? The fake Black Panther attacks are basically the same thing, but with a superhero instead of a future president. This isn’t the first fraudulent race scare, and it won’t be the last. At least social media is more equipped to call out and castigate the perpetrators (and to find some humor in a dumb situation) than it was 10 years ago.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.