Black Panther star Letitia Wright has taken down a tweet and said her "intention was not to hurt anyone" after coming under fire for posting an anti-vaccine YouTube video.
Wright, who's best known for playing T'Challa's sister Shuri in Black Panther, on Thursday night tweeted out a YouTube video to her more than 350,000 followers called "COVID-19 VACCINE, SHOULD WE TAKE IT." In it, a speaker from Light London Church "questions the legitimacy of" COVID-19 vaccination, Variety reports. He also describes himself as a "skeptic" of vaccines in general and says "I don't know if I'm going to take" a COVID-19 vaccine. The claims in the video "echo those of others who have baselessly criticized vaccine use," NBC News writes.
After being blasted as irresponsible, Wright complained that "you get cancelled" if "you don't conform to popular opinions," also saying she is not "saying don't take" a COVID-19 vaccine but is "concerned about what's in it." By Friday, she had deleted the original tweet and said "my intention was not to hurt anyone" but still defended herself for wanting to raise "concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies."
After a COVID-19 vaccine was approved in the U.K., and as two companies await approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their COVID-19 vaccines, health experts have expressed concerns over whether enough people will ultimately get vaccinated against the coronavirus, and numerous public figures including former presidents have volunteered to get a COVID-19 vaccine on camera in order to reassure the public that it's safe.
Writer Roxane Gay joined those blasting Wright for the tweets, writing, "Promoting anti-vaccine propaganda and shrouding it in intellectual curiosity is asinine. And dangerous." Wright's Marvel co-star Don Cheadle also described the video as "crazy" and said he "would never defend anybody posting this." Brendan Morrow