The movie title on a base movie theater sign aboard a Marine Corps base in Okinawa, Japan, was changed to a racial slur on Sunday.
Pictures uploaded to social media of the incident appear to show the derogatory message and a 3 p.m. showing. The Marvel Comics film “Black Panther”— which features a predominantly black cast — was slated to run at that time at the Camp Hansen Army and Air Force Exchange Service theater.
“We are aware of an incident on Camp Hansen yesterday involving the posting of a racial slur on an AAFES marquee,” Marine Corps officials said in a statement. “The language used is in direct contradiction to the core values of honor, courage, and commitment that we stand for as Marines. This type of behavior is not tolerated by the Marine Corps.”
It is not known at this time who had access to the sign and changed the letters, but the incident is currently under investigation. The message has been taken down.
Service chiefs have had to juggle a slew of racially charged incidents across the services over the past year.
And in August 2017, several veterans including former Marines were outed for having participated in or having ties to white supremacist groups after a bloody rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three dead and many injured.
Dillon Ulysses Hopper, a former fire support Marine, was revealed to be the leader of the white supremacist group called Vanguard America. Some of the members of that group participated in the Charlottesville incident.
Marine Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller was quick to denounce racism in the Corps following the Charlottesville rally.
“There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps. Our core values of honor, courage and commitment frame the way Marines live and act. Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to these core values,” Neller said.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.