Black Panther star Letitia Wright has liked tweets calling for her to be recast in the movie’s sequel or for it to be completely canceled after she doubled down on her anti-vaccine views on social media.
The British star was slammed throughout Friday after sharing a video by a ‘prophet’ who asked if the injection will implant 5G antennas inside people or create human animal ‘chimeras’.
Fans and even co-star Don Cheadle reacted, unleashing a frenzy of complaints about her views, with some saying that another actress should be found to take her role following the comments.
Wright’s character, Shuri, had been slated to take on a more prominent role in the sequel following the death of the Marvel hit’s star Chadwick Boseman earlier this year.
The 27-year-old Guyana-born actress liked several of the tweets that called for her to be recast, as she continued her Twitter tirade claiming that people are ‘canceled’ as soon as you ‘don’t conform to popular opinions’.
Marvel Studios and its owners Disney have not yet commented on the controversy or on whether they will act on calls for Wright to be replaced.
Black Panther star Letitia Wright is facing calls for her to be recast in the movie’s sequel after she doubled down on her anti-vaccine views on social media. Pictured as Shuri
Wright received plenty of backlash including calls to cancel the Black Panther sequel but she liked several of them as well as others that called for her to be recast
She liked the tweets after saying people are canceled as soon as you ‘don’t conform to popular opinion’ as she continued her Twitter tirade into Friday morning
Toni Arayomi, pictured, describes himself as ‘a well recognized Prophet and the Managing Director of Prophetic Voice TV, an online mission that seeks to restore the ability to hear the voice of God to every person on every sphere of influence’
Wright is currently slated to appear in Black Panther 2 as Shuri following an extended delay in filming due to Boseman’s death and the coronavirus pandemic.
The movie was scheduled to finally begin filming in July 2021 with a release date in May 2022.
Its plot was expected to detail Shuri’s succession to the throne and her attempts to become the next Black Panther, but fans have called for further changes amid this week’s controversy.
‘Just cancel Black Panther 2,’ wrote @JackCox, which Wright liked.
She also liked other tweets that read ‘cancel Black Panther 2 immediately’ and ‘nah she needs to be recast’, appearing to answer to her earlier claims that people are instantly ‘cancelled’.
‘Can’t wait for Don Cheadle to play Shuri in Black Panther 2,’ user @GizzyBizzy307 also joked.
That comment seems to refer to a previous Marvel recasting, where Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard in the role of James Rhodes/War Machine for Iron Man 2.
Wright has not commented on the controversy since Friday morning and it is not known if she believes she should be recast despite the tweet likes.
As well as her rescheduled role in Black Panther 2, Wright will feature in the upcoming remake of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile that will be released on December 18.
Letitia Wright, pictured right, was expected to take on a more prominent role as Shuri in the Black Panther sequel following the death of its star Chadwick Boseman earlier this year
Eagle-eyed fans spotted Wright had likes tweets calling for the cancelation of the movie
The movie’s lead is Gal Gadot who has previously used her celebrity to back a vaccine campaign in Israel amid a measles outbreak. Gadot has not commented on her co-star’s negative vaccine stance.
Wright is currently starring in Steve McQueen’s series Small Axe about the British Black Panther movement and is reported to be filming the movie Surrounded with Jamie Bell and Michael Kenneth William.
Neither of these productions have spoken about the actress’s comments as of Friday afternoon.
Several actors have been previously replaced in the Marvel universe for various reasons including Edward Norton who was replaced by Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, and Howard who was replaced by Cheadle as James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes.
Howard left after he refused to take a pay cut for the second Iron Man movie, while Norton was replaced as the studio was looking for ‘an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members,’ according to a statement from Marvel at the time.
One fan joked that co-star Don Cheadle should switch roles. Cheadle already took over a role in the Marvel universe that previously belonged to Terrence Howard
The controversy surrounding Wright erupted on Thursday night when she posted the link to UK Youtuber Tomi Arayomi’s post called ‘COVID-19 VACCINE, SHOULD WE TAKE IT?’ next to a prayer hand emoji.
Arayomi is a Christian who claims to converse with angels and runs a ministry that charges members for lessons at his ‘school’ and describes himself as ‘a well-recognized Prophet and the Managing Director of Prophetic Voice TV’.
The clip she shared was from On The Table – a YouTube channel presented by Arayomi, a law graduate whose mother is a dentist and father is a doctor. He says his ministry: ‘seeks to restore the ability to hear the voice of God to every person on every sphere of influence.’
The Guyanese-British actress who rose from a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit award to global recognition in Black Panther
Letitia Wright, 27, was born in Georgetown, Guyana, and lived there until she was seven.
Her family moved to London where she lived in Tottenham and attended a state school.
Despite global fame through her Hollywood career, she has said: ‘I’ll always be a north London girl.’
The actress was among the 2015 group of BAFTA Breakthrough Brits for her role in the award-winning film Urban Hymn.
She later featured in The Commuter and Ready Player One before she gained global recognition with Black Panther.
In the 2018 film she played Shuri, which led to spin off roles in The Avengers blockbusters.
Wright has also starred on the small screen, with parts in Doctor Who, Holby City and Black Mirror.
But life has not always been plain sailing. She opened up abouyt her battle with depression in an interview in 2018.
She told Vanity Fair it began when she was 20 and was ‘was in the dark going through so many bad things’.
She said her Christian faith helped her overcome the struggle.
He also heads an organization called ‘RIGnation’ that says it is ‘is a global movement focused on training prophets to be people and people to be prophets’.
He says: ‘Our aim is to raise 7,000 Apostles and Prophets from across the world who are ready to transform the world!’
The description of his YouTube video says: ‘Tonight I’m talking about Luciferase, the ingredient allegedly being added to the COVID vaccine to detect those who have not taken it. Luciferase, named by its founder after Lucifer???’
Luciferase is a photoluminescent enzyme that glows when exposed to light of a certain wavelength.
It has been suggested it could be used in vaccines in developing countries to detect who has already been vaccinated. Lucifer is also Greek for light-bringer.
Luciferase is not used in vaccines deployed in the US, UK, Europe and countries with developed health care systems.
In the podcast Arayomi says: ‘I don’t understand vaccines medically, but I’ve always been a little bit of a skeptic of them.’
He complains about being ‘peer-pressured’ into being made to have a flu shot as a child.
After her post, Wright quickly became involved in arguments with other Twitter users criticizing her for sharing the video, which in their view was irresponsible.
The actress, who has over 360,000 followers on Twitter, defended her sharing of the video by saying she believed it is important to ‘ask questions’ about the vaccine.
‘I think it’s valid and fair to simply ask what’s in it,’ she replied to one user who was calling her out on the platform.
Further doubling-down on her position following more criticism, she said ‘if you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself…. you get cancelled.’
Wright doubled down yet again on Friday morning, saying she did not mean to offend people but wanted to raise her fears about what goes into vaccines.
She wrote on Twitter: ‘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.’
As the argument grew on Thursday and into Friday, Wright’s Marvel Cinematic Universe co-star Cheadle waded into the debate.
Wright shared a video from YouTube discussion channel ‘On The Table’ in which the presenter said ‘I don’t understand vaccines medically’ before rolling into a fact-free monologue full of personal anecdotes and his personal feelings on vaccines in general
After facing criticism, Wright said that it was not her intention to make anyone upset, but said she was concerned about what’s in the Covid-19 vaccine. ‘Isn’t that a fair question to ask?’
Wright called people out for canceling her for a popular opinion
Wright is currently starring in Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’, as pictured above
Cheadle is known to be outspoken on politics and other issues, and when Twitter users began tagging him in Wright’s post, he began to engage with users as well.
After watching sections of the YouTube video, Cheadle Tweeted: ‘Jesus… just scrolled through. hot garbage. every time I stopped and listened, he and everything he said sounded crazy and f****d up.
‘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.’
Wright faced wider backlash on Twitter as well.
NHS doctor and BAFTA award winning TV presenter Ranj Singh commented: ”Lucifer’ means light-bearer in Latin & Theology (as you probably know).
‘Luciferases are enzymes that glow under certain conditions and are really useful in medical science.
‘They literally produce light. This has precisely NOTHING to do with religion I’m afraid.’
After being drawn into the Twitter row, Wright’s Marvel co-star Don Cheadle called the video shared by Wright was ‘hot garbage’ and what was said in it ‘F****d up’
Wright faced a wave of criticism on Twitter after sharing the video
Some Twitter users did rush to her defense on Friday
Cancer researcher Dr David Grimes put: ‘Hi – the safety & efficacy of vaccination is not an opinion, it is a fact.
‘The evidence for this is simply overwhelming. Anti-vaccine propaganda, by contrast, is a litany of obvious falsehoods.
He added: ‘Endorsing such fictions is the polar opposite of critical thought.’
Actor and musician Alex Sawyer replied to her tweet sharing the video, saying ‘This is a frustratingly irresponsible use of a platform.’
‘How so?’ Wright replied. ‘Did you listen to it fully or jump to conclusions on how I use my platform?’
Others did defend Wright saying people should ask questions about what they put in their bodies.
Wright has since deleted her original tweet with the video.
The actress grew up in London and has starred in a string of movies including Avengers: Infinity War and 2019 Avengers: Endgame.
Star Wars actor John Boyega describes her as a close friend and People magazine yesterday published a joint interview with the two, but he has yet to comment on the episode.
Marvel Studios and its owner Disney were both contacted for comment.
HOW DO THE MODERNA AND PFIZER/BIONTECH VACCINES COMPARE?
Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech have both released interim results of the final stage clinical trials of their vaccines, with both suggesting they are extremely effective.
Here’s how they compare:
PFIZER (US) & BIONTECH (DE)
How it works:
mRNA vaccine – Genetic material from coronavirus is injected to trick immune system into making ‘spike’ proteins and learning how to attack them.
mRNA vaccine – both Moderna’s and Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccines work in the same way.
How well does it work?
94.1% effective (90 positive in placebo group, 5 positive in vaccine group)
90% effective (estimated 86 positive in placebo group, 9 positive in vaccine group)
How much does it cost?
US has secured 100million doses for $1.525billion (£1.16bn), suggesting it will cost $15.25 (£11.57) per dose; $30.50 (£23.14) per person.
US will pay $1.95bn (£1.48bn) for the first 100m doses, suggesting a cost of $19.50 (£14.80) per dose; $39 (£29.61) per person.
Can we get hold of it?
Moderna will produce 20m doses this year, expected to stay in the US.
First vaccinations expected in December.
What side effects does it cause?
Moderna said the vaccine is ‘generally safe and well tolerated’. Most side effects were mild or moderate but included pain, fatigue and headache, which were ‘generally’ short-lived.
Pfizer and BioNTech did not produce a breakdown of side effects but said the Data Monitoring Committee ‘has not reported any serious safety concerns’.