‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Star Letitia Wright Slams The Hollywood Reporter For Equating Her Vaccine Skepticism To Some Of Hollywood’s Most Notorious Child Sex Abuse Scandals
'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' star Letitia Wright is not happy about having her vaccine skepticism compared to child sexual assault.
Roman Polanski. Woody Allen. Letitia Wright?
Black Panther Wakanda Forever star Letitia Wright is not happy with entertainment media heavyweight The Hollywood Reporter after the outlet decided to attack the actress by comparing her to some of the most notoious child rapists and sexual abusers in Hollywood due to her alleged anti-vaccination stance.
On November 21st, The Hollywood Reporter published a piece entitled “How Personal Baggage Will Impact Oscar Chances” that put Wright, Babylon lead Brad Pitt, and Emancipation star Will Smith front and center in a story about how each actors’ “personal controversies” stand to hurt their respective Oscar odds.
While Smith was mentioned due to his slapping of Chris Rock at the Academy Awards ceremony and Pitt for the accusations of physical abuse recently leveled against him by ex-wife Angelina Jolie, The Hollywood Reporter singled out Wright simply for questioning the merits of the COVID vaccine back in December 2020.
However, rather than keep the focus of their piece on the named actors, The Hollywood Reporter went a step further and, in seeking to equate their controversies to the crimes of such sexual abusers as fugitive child rapist Roman Polanski (who in 1978 pled guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year old but fled from the United States to France while awaiting sentencing), accused incestuous child molestor Woody Allen (who has since married his adopted daughter, , and accused predator of underage boys Bryan Singer.
“Obviously, not all accusations are equally serious or solid,” the outlet attempted to offer as a caveat. “But is history a guide for what may happen for Smith, Pitt and Wright?”
Subscribe and get our daily emails and follow us on social media.
By opting in, you agree to receive emails with the latest in Comic Culture from Bounding Into Comics. Your information will not be shared with or sold to 3rd parties.
Infuriated by the notion of being compared to the (one confirmed and one alleged) child rapists, Wright took to Instagram to slam the outlet for their dishonest reporting.
“I had to unblock The Hollywood Reporter just to post this,” said the MCU’s new Black Panther in a November 21. “Scott Feinberg and all at this publication, you are incredibility disrespectful. How dare you. You mention my name alongside men who have been accused of sexual abuse and misconduct.”
“This is vile behavior,” she continued her blasting of the outlet. “At this point a personal vendetta towards me. I’ve done nothing wrong but respectfully refused to do interviews with this publication. Stop your nonsense.”
“I apologised TWO years ago [and proceeded to] remain silent on the topic,” she then declared. “You lied and said I continued talking about it with my cast & crew on my set. THIS WAS NOT TRUE. ASK MY PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR. The film was successful.”
Drawing her initial post to a close, the actress ultimately asserted, “Your agenda towards me is now even more clear.”
“I won’t remain silent,” she affirmed. ” Stop your disgusting behavior.”
Returning to the topic a short time later, Wright turned her sights on the article’s author, Scott Feinberg, and accused him of fanning the flames of the media’s crusade against her character.
“Scott Feinberg, This personal agenda with your friends at @hollywoodreporter is disgusting,” she said. “I’ve remained silent as the world told me to kill myself two years ago for a I posted and apologized for. I kept my head down and focused on my craft. And now I’m at the other side of it.”
“Here you are, as a so called journalist we are meant to trust, putting my name into this nasty article for what?” asked Wright. “You lack substance, you clearly have nothing to report. The movie is beautiful, impactful & breaking box office. I worked my ass off with my cast and crew to dedicate it to my Brother. How dare you.”
“Did my performance rattle you that much?” she questioned of her critic. “It was that excellent huh? I’m still here, still making impact, still creating projects that touch peoples hearts and it’s not going to stop.”
In conclusion to her thoughts, Wright signed off by encouraging Feinberg to “get a life, like for real.”
As noted above, the whirlwind of drama surrounding Wright’s personal health choices first began on December 3rd, 2020, when the actress tweeted out a ‘prayer hands’ emoji alongside a link to an episode of the On The Table Podcast in which hosts Tomi and Tobi Arayomi expressed their personal concerns regarding the vaccines’ development.
In a clip from the now-deleted episode posted to the Rig Nation Instagram page, Tomi can be seen taking issue with the potential use of the chemical luciferase as a proposed additive to future COVID-19 vaccines.
“You want us to not be conspiratorial,” exclaimed Arayomi. “but you’re provoking it! Why? Why? What’s wrong with you? Why would you have a product called luciferase?”
A bioluminescence-producing chemical whose name comes from the Greek term for “light-bringer”, the future addition of luciferase to COVID-19 vaccines had been proposed at the time as a prospective way to track who has and has not been inoculated, particularly in underdeveloped countries.
Near immediately after sharing the video, Wright was met with pushback and criticism, with some users accusing her of being an ‘anti-vaxxer,’ while others attempted to inform the actress on the origin of the chemical itself.
As the backlash against her continued to grow, Wright tweeted “if you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled.”
Faced with further outrage, the actoress would further clarify that her intention with sharing the video “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,” she added.
Of course, Wright’s apology did nothing to slow down the social media mob, and ever since, her questioning of the COVID-19 vaccine – which has since been proven not to be as effective as originally advertised – has led her to be labeled as an unhinged anti-vaxxer.
Some Marvel stans even went so far as to create an online campaign calling for her to be ouright removed from her role as Shuri in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over her vaccine skepticism.
As of this writing, in the two weeks since its release, Wright’s latest film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has amassed over $545 million at the worldwide box office. While admirable, many believe that the film will need to make at least $750-800 million globally before even remotely being considered profitable.
At the moment, there are no plans in place for a third Black Panther outing on the silver screen.
However, many believe that Wright will reprise her role as Wakanda’s new protector in Marvel’s upcoming Ironheart Disney Plus series, which will center around the MCU’s newly introduced Iron Man replacement, Riri Williams.