Black Panther star Letitia Wright deletes her social media accounts following the backlash she faced for sharing an anti-vax video on Twitter.
Black Panther's Letitia Wright deletes her Twitter account following online backlash for posting an anti-vax video. Best known for her role as Shuri, the genius younger sister of T'Challa, Wright made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in 2018's Black Panther. She returned for a brief role in Avengers: Infinity War and was featured in the final battle scene of 2019's Endgame. Wright's Shuri quickly became a fan-favorite of the MCU for her sassy humor and intelligence, even said to be the smartest character in the MCU. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, fans have rallied for Shuri to take over as the new hero in Black Panther 2.
However, Wright found herself at the center of a controversy this week after sharing a YouTube video on her Twitter account that questioned the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. In the nearly hour-long video from discussion channel On the Table, host Tomi Arayomi expressed his distrust and concerns about the vaccine, as well as making transphobic remarks and criticizing the media, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and lockdown enforcements. Wright posted the video along with the prayer hands emoji, but made no other comment. The actress faced immediate backlash on social media, with many criticizing her for spreading potentially dangerous and false information. After defending herself and going back-and-forth with fans on Twitter, Wright deleted the original tweet and issued an apology by Friday morning, writing, "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."
Though she apologized, Wright still chose to step away from social media altogether as she continues to face backlash over sharing the video. Wright has deleted her Twitter account, on which she had more than 350,000 followers. The @LetitiaWright page reads, "This account doesn’t exist." Wright's Instagram account has also been deleted.
Before deleting her Twitter account, Wright acknowledged her cancellation on the internet when she argued that not conforming to popular opinions and thinking for one's self means being cancelled. Among the criticisms was Wright's MCU colleague Don Cheadle, who called the video "hot garbage." Cheadle commented in a tweet, "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.” The End Of The F***ing World actor Alex Sawyer also responded to Wright's initial tweet by writing "This is a frustratingly irresponsible use of a platform."
Wright's fans were understandably disappointed over the actress using her platform to share misinformation. Though she argued that she was only sharing the video to raise questions, she still has to recognize that she is a public figure who has a strong influence on fans around the world. It's clear that even though she took down her original tweet, Wright was still receiving enough criticism that she felt she needed to delete her social media altogether. Some have even called for the Black Panther star to be recast in the sequel. Hopefully, Wright will use the time off social media to further educate herself on such an important topic.