A new controversy involving councilmember Kevin de León related to his racist comments on a leaked recording surged this week, when the councilman scheduled – and quickly canceled- a free screening of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
De León announced the screening on Facebook around noon on Monday, a day before it was supposed to take place at the Calvary Chapel Hall in El Sereno. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Councilmember was unaware of the controversy when he canceled the screening within hours of the announcement because of the “continued rainy weather”.
The announcement caused outrage from some on social media who recalled De León’s involvement in the leaked conversation with fellow council members, some pointing to the fact that the movie was to take place on the last day of Black History Month.
The matter was raised by activists at Tuesday morning’s City Council meeting.
“I came here to speak on the lunacy and the hypocrisy of what Kevin De León has proposed,” said Black Lives Matter activist Baba Akili at the meeting. “The screening of [Wakanda Forever] is not only an insult. It’s a classic example of how tone-deaf he is. He needs to resign.”
“You can show whatever you want Kevin it doesn’t matter you’re still a… racist jerk that needs to resign,” said one user on Facebook. “Can’t decide if it’s funnier KDL squeezed this event on the last day of Black History Month or that he thinks screening a Marvel movie will heal his racism against Black Angelenos,” another said on Twitter.
De León is the only Councilmember involved in the leaked conversation still in office, though some hope to formally change that with a recall effort.
A petition to recall Kevin de Léon has only until March 31 to collect signatures from at least 15% of registered voters in Council District 14 to get the effort on the ballot. This is the fourth recall attempt the Councilmember has faced during his tenure.