A tweet sent Friday from Chadwick Boseman’s Twitter accountand heralding his perseverance and fighting spirit is now the most-liked tweet ever.
“A tribute fit for a king,” Twitter’s official account said Saturday in announcing the record. “WakandaForever”
The record-breaking tweet from Boseman’s account, sent Friday night at 7:11 p.m. PT, includes a black and white photo of the Black Panther star wearing a broad, radiant grin, with equally smiling eyes. Along with the picture is a statement from Boseman’s family sharing that he’d passed away after battling colon cancer for four years.
The actor died Friday at age 43 in his Los Angeles home alongside his wife and other members of his family, Boseman’s publicist, Nicki Fioravante, told the Associated Press.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement read. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more — all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
As of this writing, the tweet from Boseman’s account has been liked 5.9 million times. That surpasses by well over a million the previous record holder, sent in August 2017 by former president Barack Obama.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” Obama’s tweet reads alongside a picture of him standing at an open window smiling at a small, diverse group of children. That tweet has garnered 4.3 million likes.
News of Boseman’s death stunned the world, as he hadn’t publicly shared his battle with cancer. Many on social media expressed both shock and admiration that the actor continued to produce films during his illness, and many were deeply touched by a video circulating widely Saturday in which Boseman speaks of Ian and Taylor, two children with terminal cancer he’d been in touch with during filming for Black Panther.
The kids’ parents, Boseman said in the video, relayed that Ian and Taylor were trying to hold on until the 2018 Marvel superhero film came out. We now know Boseman was waging his own cancer fight as he spoke of the children, making the footage all the more poignant.
Tributes to Boseman continued to flood social media Saturday from fans around the world, as well as numerous peers, including the Russo brothers, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Issa Rae and Viola Davis.
“Your legacy will live on forever,” Marvel Studios tweeted. DC Comics also shared a tribute: “To a hero who transcends universes. Wakanda Forever.”