People are being accused of 'exploiting' Chadwick Boseman's death – here's why

Joanna Taylor
Monday 31 August 2020 14:00
Showbiz
(Getty)

Political activist Shaun King has been criticised for 'using Chadwick Boseman's death' to sell copies of his book.

King sent out an email expressing his sorrow that the Black Panther star had died before recommending his book, Make Change, as a way for people to "impact and change the world".

Screenshots of the email were shared to Twitter, where he was accused of "profiting off of Black death".

Excerpts from the email read:

Yesterday I sent an email checking in on everybody - and just a few hours later we learned of the death of Chadwick Boseman. Life is so very fragile. Tomorrow is not promised. [...] 

Everywhere I go, people ask ask me, "Shaun, how do I actually use my life, my skills, my time, my energy to impact and change the world?" My book, MAKE CHANGE, is a 272 page answer to that question. 

King also included links to the places where his book can be bought.

But he maintains he doesn't profit from the sales, writing on Twitter:

I literally do not make a penny off of sales for my book. Nothing. Got paid a year ago to write it. 

I had a mass email pre-scheduled to go out this morning about my book. I updated the email to also mention the death of Chadwick. And I don’t regret it. At all. There’s that.

The row continued regardless, with some people accusing him of lying.

King, a journalist and campaigner who advocates for prison reform and the Black Lives Matter movement, is no stranger to controversy.

He has been accused of exploiting Black suffering and death for "many years".

Shaun King has been contacted for comment.

But King is not the only person to have been accused of exploiting Chadwick Boseman's death.

Boseman's final tweet congratulating Kamala Harris for her vice president nomination became the most-liked in the history of Twitter. Many people on the left shared it, but were met with similar criticism.

A number of people were accused of "trying to go viral" after Boseman's death, and using it for political gain.

Meanwhile, people criticised Screen Rant for trying to "capitalise on clicks".

They apologised for publishing and removed the article soon after.

Boseman died on 28 August aged 43. His death, after privately suffering from cancer for four years, left fans shocked and heartbroken.

He is remembered for bringing life to iconic roles like Marvel superhero Black Panther and James Brown in Get on Up.

Boseman has also been praised for inspiring young Black actors and for giving back to his community in South Carolina.

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