By The Biz Team (Nicholas)
Twitter's record for the most-liked post has turned to be a bittersweet moment as it was the last from the account of recently deceased Hollywood star, Chadwick Boseman. According to Engadget, the news of his death, which happened at home with his family, was the most liked tweet ever. It garnered 7.7 million likes as of August 29th afternoon. Boseman died from colon cancer at 43 on the 28th of August following a four year battle with the illness. The news led to significant grief from all quarters. Celebrities and politicians alike gave their condolences to his family.
The celebrity who starred in 21 Bridges, Black Panther, and Da 5 Bloods was diagnosed in 2016. The post also claimed his most famous roles were filmed during countless surgeries and sessions of chemotherapy. The family added their thanks for the love and prayers, asking people to respect their privacy. Tributes are still pouring in for the actor, including a statement from the director of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler. He indicated Boseman was calm, confident, and yet warm.
It is safe to say that Twitter did not want to reach the target that way. The previous ones have been set during happier instances by Barack Obama, Ariana Grande, and BTS. Chadwick is best known for his performance as the Black Panther in the recent African American superhero marvel film released in 2018. The social media platform stated that fans are coming together on Twitter to celebrate the life of Chadwick Boseman. They are also working to watch Black Panther Twitter watch parties with hash-tags of #WakandaForever and #BlackPanther.
On Sunday night, ABC aired a special titled 'Chadwick Boseman: A Tribute For A King.' A commercial-free airing of Black Panther then followed it. When the special was airing, acclaimed actress Phylicia Rashad told how she mentored Boseman while teaching at Howard University when he was a student there. She got a call that a group of students had auditioned and were accepted into the British American Drama Midsummer program. However, they were not financially capable of affording the expenses. Rashad stated she made a call to a friend of hers, and he called back to discuss the issue. After some deliberation, the mystery man said, 'Okay, I got this money.'
That was Denzel Washington, and Boseman recounted the events during a speech honoring the veteran after during his Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. As fate would have it, Boseman turned out to be one of the students who Denzel paid financed. He called the audience to imagine a scenario of receiving a letter that tuition for that summer had been catered for, and the benefactor was one who he idolized. The recently deceased actor added that his story was not the only one of its kind and added that an offering from a sage was better than seed and gold. There was no Back Panther without Denzel Washington.
Despite the marvel movies being what he is remembered for the most, Boseman's other film feats were quickly earning him respect on the silver screen. That is why his untimely death has caused many to examine his life and battle with cancer. That which is shocking to the majority is the fact Boseman pushed through for four years, and he was determined it would not ruin his work until the very end.
As a result, his death leads to a conversation concerning invisible conditions and how people with chronic illnesses navigate life and their work environments. It is unimaginable what the actor was experiencing when filming his best appearances for Black Panther in the recent Avenger installments up to Endgame. He also played James Brown in the 2014 film, Get on Up. One of the probable motivators for his decision to keep the condition a secret was avoiding the stereotypes and stigma the public links with chronic illness. Ableism is discrimination against people with disabilities, and it is a recurring issue, especially when celebrities become sick or injured. Several of Boseman's fans did express some concern when he was on an Instagram video looking malnourished. Though they did not yet know the actor was suffering from a debilitating illness, there were numerous speculations on what the issue could be.
Having honest and open dialogue concerning disability discrimination and chronic illness stigmatization is the right way to go. Ableism is not often the main topic of discussion when conversations on prejudice and bias occur since the country has been reeling from race-related divisions during the past year. Evidence shows that people who have disabilities have lower employment rates than those who do not have disabilities. That is troubling considering the disabled form the largest minority group, up to 15% of the world population. The other consideration for the disabled is anyone can join the demographic after an unfortunate turn of circumstances. Considering this, one may expect the public's perceptions to be different, so there is a higher level of understanding, but that is not usually the case.