Black Panther star Letitia Wright is the latest Disney actor embroiled in controversy on social media after she shared a video that expressed skepticism about the forthcoming coronavirus vaccine.
“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,” Wright wrote on Twitter early Friday morning. “Nothing else.”
Wright’s name began to trend on Twitter late Thursday after she amplified the lengthy video, which included false claims and assertions about vaccines. In a since-deleted tweet, Wright shared the video with the prayer-hands emoji.
The backlash to Wright’s post was swift, and the actress responded to numerous fans who questioned her intentions with the original tweet. When one person alleged Wright was an “anti-vaxxer,” she wrote back, “nah just thinking about what’s in it and if my body will react negatively or not.”
Responding to another Twitter user, she wrote that it was not her intention to “make anyone upset,” nor was she telling people to avoid the vaccine. “I’m just concerned about what’s in it that’s all. Isn’t that fair to question or ask?” she wrote.
As fans even suggested Wright should get booted from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wright posted another tweet to her main account amid the uproar. “If you don’t conform to popular opinions, but ask questions and think for yourself….you get canceled.”
Disney has not commented on the controversy, but Don Cheadle did. The actor, who plays War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, initially sought to defend Wright. But after he watched the video she shared, he too was left uneasy. “Jesus… just scrolled through. Hot garbage. Every time I stopped and listened, he and everything he said sounded crazy and [fucked] up,” he wrote. “I would never defend anybody posting this. But I still won’t throw her away over it. The rest I’ll take off Twitter. Had no idea.”
Representatives for Wright did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The first coronavirus vaccines will start rolling out in the United States later this month, and it’s expected the wider population will have access to the vaccines by the spring of next year. Former President Barack Obama is among the prominent figures who have said they would receive the vaccination on television in order to prove its safety. In an interview this week, in fact, Obama said he wanted especially to prove the vaccine’s efficacy to the Black community.
“I understand, you know, historically, everything dating back all the way to the Tuskegee experiments and so forth, why the African American community would have some skepticism,” Obama said of the vaccine in an interview with Joe Madison on SiriusXM. “But the fact of the matter is, is that vaccines are why we don’t have polio anymore, the reason why we don’t have a whole bunch of kids dying from measles and smallpox and diseases that used to decimate entire populations and communities.”
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