As the White House and its allies seek to defend President Trump against accusations of racism following reports that he referred to African nations as “shithole countries,” one writer and comedian wants to get President Trump on the record about Wakanda. Yes, the fictional setting of Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster Black Panther.
Trump faces growing condemnation following a closed-door meeting with lawmakers about immigration, in which the president allegedly expressed frustration about people from Haiti, El Salvador and countries in Africa coming to the United States. Trump denied using the vulgar term on Friday, only for his assertions to be undercut by Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. On Sunday, even as U.S. diplomats were summoned by foreign governments to explain the comments, Trump insisted, “I am not a racist.”
As the story gained steam on Friday, writer and stand-up comedian Sara Benincasa offered a $300 reward to any journalist “who very seriously asks Trump his opinion on our nation’s relations with Wakanda and gets the question and answer recorded live on video.” While Benincasa conceded that’s not a lot of money, she added, “I also know what most reporters make so … $300.”
The offer of the reward arrived just two days after Trump apparently misspoke when he announced delivery to Norway of F-52 fighter jets, which only exist in the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Wakanda will take center stage in director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, which opens Feb. 16, and then in Avengers: Infinity War, which arrives May 4.