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After #BlackPantherChallenge Success, Campaign for Girls to See ‘Captain Marvel’ is Faltering

After a successful campaign to pay for minority children to see Black Panther a new similar campaign to pay for girls to see Captain Marvel is struggling.

Last year, Frederick Joseph’s #BlackPantherChallenge campaign raised enough money to send 73,000 children of color to see Black Panther—this year he’s trying to do the same with girls and the new Captain Marvel movie, but is facing challenges.

The purpose of last year’s campaign was to highlight the cultural significance of representation—for young black children to witness the first black superhero movie. Black Panther would become a huge blockbuster and is currently nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

This year, Joseph’s #CaptainMarvelChallenge hopes to do the same for girls with Marvel Studios’ first female-led film, Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson.

The film follows Captain Marvel as she gets caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

Surprisingly, Joseph said he isn’t sure the new campaign to help young girls will receive as much support as the one for black boys did.

“I was hoping this would receive more traction than the last challenge,” the New York marketer told CNN.

We Have Stories, Joseph’s nonprofit organization and the team behind his challenge, is working with GoFundMe to try to expand the reach of #CaptainMarvelChallenge. They are urging others to start their own fundraising efforts around the #CaptainMarvelChallenge in their local communities.

So far, Joseph’s GoFundMe surpassed its $20,000 goal to take more than 500 girls in Los Angeles to see Captain Marvel when it comes out March 8.

An endorsement from the movie’s star, Brie Larson, didn’t seem to bolster the challenge’s GoFundMe page any further.

“We did see some more donations from her support, but not as many as we would have hoped for,” Joseph said. “I think there’s a larger conversation to be had around how much support women receive and lack thereof.”

The lack of response is further surprising since 2017’s female-led superhero movie Wonder Woman (based on the DC comic book character) was a major critical and commercial success. The significance and value of its gender representation was also a hot topic then.

Also, in an era of hyper-awareness of gender issues and representation for previously overlooked groups, one would presume Joseph’s campaign for another cinematic milestone would garner more attention.

For now, Joseph and his team are setting their sights on bringing a “modest” 50,000 girls to movie theaters across the globe to see Captain Marvel on its opening day, which also happens to be International Women’s Day.

“Marvel has built up this world and coming into it is this woman, who is the most powerful person in their world,” Joseph said. “In the era that we live in politically and socially, that says a lot and it means a lot, and it’s going to mean a lot for girls.”

It’s valuable for boys too, Joseph emphasizes. “It is important that boys see women in these positive roles where they are represented as strong, bold, powerful and equal. Well, not only equal, sometimes just better,” Joseph said. “But we’re specifically taking girls.”

Joseph’s campaigns are further significant because it ensures that everyone has access to films that inspire them. With theater prices being higher than ever, going to the movies is often a rare treat for those who can’t afford it.

Additionally, GoFundMe will donate $100 to each of the first 25 campaigns that launch their own #CaptainMarvelChallenge in their area. So far, challenges have begun in Flint, Michigan, and Brooklyn, New York.


1 Comment

  1. Dave Pilsner January 28, 2019

    Have you seen the corporate reversal of Black Panther? It is the opposite of the comic which has outside corporate interests as the enemy. Which are the heroes in the movie. Please pull your head out of the sand.


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