“Black Panther” and “Mangrove” actress Letitia Wright ignited an anti-vax controversy last December after sharing a video that questioned Covid-19 vaccines. Wright was labeled anti-vax across social media after sharing on Twitter a 69-minute YouTube video featuring Light London Church leader Tomi Arayomi. The actress included the prayer hands emoji as a caption. The video found Arayomi questioning the legitimacy of the Covid-19 vaccine. Wright initially responded to the backlash by posting: “If you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled.”
A new report on Hollywood’s response to the Coronavirus vaccine published by The Hollywood Reporter includes sources alleging that Wright continued to make her anti-vax stance known on the set of Marvel’s “Black Panther” sequel, officially titled “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The film is directed by Ryan Coogler, who helmed the Oscar-nominated first installment.
As THR reports: “A number of performers, from Rob Schneider (now shooting Netflix’s “Home Team”) to Letitia Wright (filming Marvel’s ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’) have shared anti-vaccine positions on social media. In Wright’s case, a set source says she has espoused similar views about the Covid-19 vaccines on the Atlanta production. The British actress quietly parted ways with her entire U.S. team of representatives in the wake of a backlash over posting a controversial anti-vaccine video in December.”
IndieWire has reached out to Disney for further comment on THR’s report.
Many Hollywood studios are in the process of making Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory and/or making it clear who is vaccinated and who isn’t on sets. As THR added: “Disney, the studio behind ‘Black Panther,’ will begin rolling out a sticker system on all of its new productions in mid-October that requires visible proof of Covid-19 vaccination status, as stipulated in a return-to-work agreement between AMPTP and Hollywood’s unions. Those in Zone A who are fully vaccinated will have a wristband. Those who are not, will not. (Anything already shooting is not covered.)”
As backlash against Wright grew in December, she took to Twitter to share the following message: “My intention was not to hurt anyone. My only intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies. Nothing else.”
Don Cheadle, Wright’s co-star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, called the “On the Table” video “hot garbage” when pressed for a reaction by fans at the time. While the actor did not agree with the video, he said he would not “throw [Wright] away” just because she posted it.
“Jesus. Just scrolled through. Hot garbage. Every time I stopped and listened, he and everything he said sounded crazy and [fucked] up,” Cheadle wrote on Twitter. “I would never defend anybody posting this. But i still won’t throw her away over it. The rest i’ll take off twitter.”
Wright deleted her Twitter account soon after these comments and has yet to return to the platform.