After the stunning and tragic death of Chadwick Boseman, it looked like the mantle of Black Panther would fall to Letitia Wright and her character, Shuri.
But now she is posting anti-vaxx conspiracy videos about potential COVID-19 vaccines, and fans want her fired.
This week, Letitia Wright, best known for playing Shuri in the MCU’s 2018 hit Black Panther, posted an anti-vaxx video.
Specifically, the video was filled with vaccine hesitancy about upcoming COVID-19 vaccines, through a deeply religious lens.
This kind of nonsense is dangerous even under normal times. Right now, widespread vaccination is our only hope of regaining our “normal” lives.
People were absolutely furious, and late this week, Letitia took to Twitter to speak about the controversy that she had needlessly created.
She wrote: “If you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled.”
“My intention was not to hurt anyone,” Letitia insisted.
That tweet continued: “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.”
Letitia was of course confronted about claiming to be some sort of obscure, against-the-grain thinker when she works for a multimedia behemoth like Disney.
Putting her hubris on display, Letitia replied: “No, I work for God.”
Some people very generously offered simple, concise explanations of the things that Letitia (and the fearmongers in the video that she had shared) seemed fixated upon.
“In biological research, luciferase is commonly used as a reporter to assess activity in cells that are transfected with a genetic construct containing the luciferase gene under the control of a promoter interest,” one tweet explained.
Letitia’s mind-boggling response was: “The name lucifer is an interesting choice *opens bible.*”
Obviously, she was fixated upon a coincidence of etymology (both words including the prefix for “light”), exhibiting clear paranoia.
As you can imagine, those up late Thursday night or early Friday morning got an unpleasant shock.
Shuri was a very popular character. To learn that her actress is spewing dangerous anti-vaxx nonsense on social media was a nasty surprise.
“I think this just proves that Letitia is a great actress,” joked one tweet.
The tweet continued: “She’s able to play possibly the smartest person in the MCU.”
The tweet concluded with its punchilne: “When in real life says the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year (and this is 2020).”
That is not all.
“Likes” on Twitter are public. While Letitia smashed that like button on a number of differing responses, some stood out.
Several of the tweets that she had “liked” were calling for her character, Shuri, to be recast. One even suggested that Black Panther 2 be canceled.
The tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman sent ripples throughout the world as fans mourned and continue to mourn his loss.
It may be that Letitia will cost the franchise another star, not because of her garbage conspiracy theory boosting, but because of the results.
Most production companies are unlikely to allow actors on set to film with them if they refuse to take the vaccine. Letitia may throw away her career over pseudoscience.
But that may be just as well — because someone willing to boost the kind of misinformation that she is sharing does not deserve a massive platform.
If Shuri needs to have a diminished role or be recast, so be it.
And while many of us hoped that Shuri would be the next Black Panther, most fans would not say “no” to, ahem, Thicc Daddy M’baku taking on that role.
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