Wakanda Isn't Real
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Wakanda Isn't Real refers to a series of jokes and responses to the popularity of the Marvel superhero film Black Panther. Online, some people have taken issue with the popularity of the film and the fictional country of Wakanda, where the film is set, and respond to these complaints with the phrase "Wakanda isn't real." However, the phrase has also been used to mock that response and perceived hyperbolic response to a fantasy location.
On February 9th, 2018, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro responded to an editorial in the New York Times about Wakanda, the fictional country in the film Black Panther, on Twitter. The purpose of the piece is to discuss the meaning of Wakanda in the context of art and society as it is a fictional African nation that has not been colonized. Ben Shapiro's responded to the article, "Wakanda isn't real." The post (shown below) received more than 3,400 retweets and 13,000 likes.
Four days later, Ben Shapiro discussed Black Panther on his show, The Ben Shapiro Show. In the show, he discussed the interpretations and meanings of Wakanda in the context of the comic book and film. Specifically, Shapiro takes offense to Wakanda being a utopian symbol for an African country without colonization. During the show, he says, "Sorry to break it to you, folks, but Wakanda is not a real place." Since being uploaded to YouTube, the video (shown below) has been viewed more than 260,000 times.
Following Shapiro's rant, other conservative commentators joined Shapiro in responding to cultural and literary analysis of Wakanda with "Wakanda isn't real." On February 14th, Daily Caller journalist Ian Miles Cheong retweeted a piece from National Public Radio about the influennces for Wakanda and responded with "Wakanda isn't real, people." The post (shown below, left) received more than 60 retweets and 360 likes in seven days.
On February 16th, the Hollywood Palms Cinema posted an apology to people who complained about their Black Panther posts. The apology made a joke of the outrage against the country and its technology. The post (shown below, center) received more than 5,900 retweets and 14,000 likes in five days.
Others, however, mocked Shapiro's rant against the fictional country. On February 18th, Twitter user @KrangTNelson tweeted, "FOZZY BEAR: hey hey, Waka Wak- / BEN SHAPIRO (pounding on the door): WAKANDA ISN’T REAL." The post (shown below, center) received more than 1,100 retweets and 8,300 likes in three days.
On February 20th, Redditor  quizzicalquow posted in the /r/OutOfTheLoop subreddit "Whats the deal with the 'Wakanda isn't real' memes?" The post received more than 480 points (90% upvoted) in 24 hours.
The following day, the Atlanta Airport Twitter account posted a picture of a terminal "scheduling" flights to Wakanda. The post (shown below) received more than 13,000 retweets and 30,000 likes in two days.
 Twitter – @benshapiro's Tweet
 YouTube – Making Wakanda Great Again
 Twitter – @stillgray's Tweet
 Twitter – @HollywoodPalms' Tweet
 Twitter – @KrangTNelson's Tweet
 Twitter – @ATLairport's Tweet
 Reddit – Whats the deal with the "Wakanda isn't real" memes?
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