The Internet has collectively decided that Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman is overdoing the Wakanda salute. And honestly, can you blame him? For months, Boseman has been crossing his arms over his chest, uttering the words “Wakanda Forever,” at every press junket, interview, and on every red carpet, including his recent heavenly appearance at the 2018 Met Gala.
But now, after a photo of Boseman listlessly doing the Wakanda salute was tweeted out on April 23 by the official account for The Avengers, fans of the Black star-studded film have playfully nicknamed the salute: “Wakanda Never.”
While Boseman does appear to look exhausted in the viral photo and the ensuing hilarious memes, he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to clear up the misconception that he’s tired of doing the gesture. He also explained why his usual salute was more "casual" and lacked a little bit of oomph on the Avengers: Infinity War red carpet.
“I thought that was funny when people said it,” Boseman told Colbert, in response to the reaction to the viral meme. “It’s a salute, you know. If I was, like, in the military and I did this every day [mimics official military hand salute], I’m not going to do it the same way every time. Sometimes it’s more pedestrian than others. So that person, whoever I was doing it to at that moment, caught a casual one. But three minutes before that, I probably did one that was fully…yes!”
Watch the full interview below, where Boseman credits the Black Panther research team on bringing the story’s African authenticity to life for the fictional Wakanda civilization.