The reason why Chadwick Boseman kept his illness a secret is pretty simple, he didn’t want people fussing over him. This is what he was taught by his mother apparently, and it’s a good lesson for many people since the truth is that once an actor’s physical health is brought into question, many fans tend to flip out and start mobbing said actor in one manner or another. While a good ideal of this mobbing happens on social media and a few other ways that are hands-off, it’s still enough to overwhelm a lot of people since it means that everyone will be hanging on every last word that an actor speaks and treating it like gospel, much as people are already doing with Boseman after his passing, taking on the Black Panther as a cause as well as a pleasing memory. There’s nothing wrong with this really since the Black Panther movie did in fact bring a very impressive hero to the MCU, and Boseman was the best choice for the character, but at the same time, it was a movie, another role in the life of a very talented actor. Glorifying Boseman is all well and good also, though had he made his condition clear when he was still alive it does feel as though people would have blown it all out of proportion and tales of his bravery and dedication would have only grown exponentially, as they’ve already done.
It sounds dismissive and it might anger some folks, but that’s a risk I’ll take when saying that Boseman kept his illness to himself because he didn’t feel like dealing with the incessant noise that so many fans create when acting concerned about someone. To be even more blunt about it, Boseman’s illness was no one else’s business, and he meant to keep it that way. He did his best to hide the pain and obviously it was rather forceful in some cases, but he stood his ground and didn’t bend against it. How he put on a brave face and kept going is hard to fathom, but this was what he did and it’s why a lot of people are claiming that he’s one of the bravest people that’s ever lived. It would appear that many people are bound to forget that he’s done what many others have done in the past, as he worked through the pain while attempting to do what he loved. This made him brave to be certain, but it didn’t separate him from so many others that have done this as well. The biggest difference is that he was smart about it and didn’t tell anyone, meaning that he had his peace of mind until the end, no matter that many people would have liked to have known in order to avoid the shock of the 43-year old’s sudden departure from this life.
To put it simply, what goes on with celebrities isn’t our business until they make it that way, and trying to give them enough room to have a life is still important even if some of them broadcast what’s going on in their lives continuously. Chadwick was one of those that was all about the acting and did his job while inspiring others and doing his best. Anything he had to say to those that were listening was usually something inspirational or had to do with the job, and that was how he wanted to keep it. The tendency that people have to gossip and complicate matters when they get hold of a bit of news is horrible sometimes since it takes a situation that might be easy to understand and makes it into something that it’s not. Recall how people reacted when Tom Hanks and his wife were reported to have COVID-19, people about lost their minds thinking that the two of them were going to die and were calling for prayers for the two celebrities. Some folks might want to claim that it’s simply human nature to care about each other and to make a bigger deal of something than what it is, but the truth is that when it comes to celebrities, people worry about their own feelings and whether or not they’re getting accurate gossip more than anything. It’s great to think that fans actually care about their favorite actors, but there is a line that a lot of people cross without even thinking about it, and when that happens it becomes evident that some folks glorify celebrities in a way that becomes a little creepy after a while.
Chadwick Boseman did what he did to keep his career moving forward and the fans believing that things would be okay. Guess what, even with him gone, things are still okay. He’s going to be missed for a while to be certain since he was a true talent, but life does move on.