CBFC Mutes ‘Glory to Hanuman’ Reference in ‘Black Panther’

CBFC decided to beep out the word ‘Hanuman’ in ‘Black Panther’.

2 min read
A still from <i>Black Panther. </i>

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has done it again. It has beeped out an otherwise un-offensive word in Marvel’s Black Panther. The superhero flick, which has been receiving rave reviews by audiences worldwide made a reference to Lord Hanuman.

In one of the scenes planted as an easter egg for fans in India, M’Baku, leader of a tribe called ‘Jabari’ made a reference to Lord Hanuman and said “Glory to Hanuman”. Much to the chagrin of fans, the word has been beeped out by the CBFC. Many fans have said that it was done to avoid hurting sentiments because the ‘Jabari’ tribe is known for worshipping the gorilla god. The gorilla god has been called “Man-Ape” in the comics. But the word was changed to “Hanuman” in the film.

The actor who plays M’Baku (Winston Duke) spoke about “contextualizing the Jabari religion” in the film to as to not offend any sensibilities in an interview with Vanity Fair.

“They haven’t been affected by colonialism and all the narratives that are associated with developing a sense of inferiority and people comparing them to animals. To them, this is just who they pray to, and they find their strength and agency in this religion. So being a bit gorilla-influenced was a sense of pride for them”.
Duke to Vanity Fair

The “Hanuman” reference could’ve been the perfect nod for many Marvel fans in India, but sadly, most would have to live with either reading lips, or completely missing the moment in Black Panther.


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