Luke Cage creator Cheo Hodari Coker is speaking out following Disney+'s removal of a Reg E. Cathey tribute from the show. Just weeks after the hit Netflix series exited Netflix and joined Dinsey+'s streaming catalogue, fans bingeing the series, based on the Marvel Comics character Luke Cage, noticed that the special tribute to the late actor was edited out in a move that Coker made clear he wasn't pleased with.
In an April 4 tweet addressing the tribute's removal, Coker candidly asked, "why do this?" Reflecting on the tribute and Cathey, Coker shared that "Cathey was part of the heart and soul of Season Two." Although the special tribute was added to the series following the actor's death, Coker explained, "we didn't feel obligated to dedicate the season to him just because he died -- we felt obligated because we loved him and he was a galvanizing force."
Cathey portrayed Luke Cage's father, Reverend James Lucas, in seven episodes of the hit series' second season throughout 2018 – "Soul Brother #1," "Straighten It Out," "Wig Out," "The Basement," "On and On," "If It Ain't Rough," "It Ain't Right," and "For Pete's Sake." According to IMDb, Cathey also has an uncredited voiceover in the 2018 episode "They Reminisce Over You," which aired in June 2022, four months after the prolific actor died at the age of 59. His death came just months before Luke Cage Season 2 debuted on Netflix. In a special moment at the end of the season finale, "They Reminisce Over You," the series honored Cathey with a tribute card reading, "In memoriam Reg. E. Cathey Forward Always." That tribute card has since been edited out amid Luke Cage's move to Disney+, with the final scene of the season now leading directly into the credits rather than the tribute.
The tribute to Cathey was not the only one to be removed, though. A tribute honoring Stan Lee once included at the end of The Punisher Season 2 has also been removed. The tribute card, reading, "In loving memory of Stan Lee," was added to the episode following Lee's death in November 2019 at 95. Dinsey has yet to offer an explanation for the removals. The company also hasn't responded to the backlash that has been sparked. The removal of the tribute cards comes just after Disney began moving all of the Marvel titles to its streaming platform. The effort involved pulling Marvel titles, such as Luke Cage, from Netflix.