Letitia Wright was introduced to international audiences in Black Panther as Shuri, the tech genius sister of T’Challa, and has mostly been talked about as a possible replacement holder of the titular superhero mantle. However, she’s now coming under fire for tweeting a link to an anti-vax YouTube video questioning the veracity of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The video in question was posted by On the Table, a self-styled “controversial” series discussing various social issues, in which host Tomi Arayomi lays out his skepticism of the vaccine’s legitimacy and ultimate expediency. Since Wright shared it with no additional comment, it was taken as her tacit agreement with its content, to which many people took exception, as you can see below.
Antivax isn't an option. It's sheer stupidity.
— Mr Amedeo Felix ????? (@MrAFelix) December 4, 2020
Think the vaccine stuff they could have gotten away with by saying she has questions & blah blah.
But the transphobia was blatant.
The Lucifer bit was batshitcrazy.
She also liked tweets about how BP2 should be canceled.
Maybe she wants to be fired so no vaccine?
— Flip the Senate, Georgia! ? (@akuma_river) December 4, 2020
I really like you Letitia! But as your brother in Christ you really need wisdom when it comes to speaking publicly about matters like these. Amongst causing other things, these tweets could severely harm your Christian witness. It’s ok to question things…1/2
— Wilber Force (@Wilberforce61) December 4, 2020
If you’re spreading misinformation that puts people’s lives in danger then yes you deserve to be called out, especially considering POC are disproportionately being killed by the coronavirus. Antivaxxers kill people.
— wyntergirl? (@wyntergirl2) December 4, 2020
Letitia Wright is an anti-vaxxer and a trump/q anon supporter???? pic.twitter.com/RxrcXoZ9us
— Toria (@toricambridge) December 4, 2020
Why isn’t she canceled? She’s a transphobic anti-vaxxer. That sounds like a prime cancelation target to me.
— Taquito (@geenadavisdaddy) December 4, 2020
LOL. You're questioning scientists but don't understand the science you're questioning. Plus, you're posting a video that equates religions BS with a vaccine AND was transphobic. How many more times are you gonna double down on the ignorance?
— WaywardAF (@moonlessnitesky) December 4, 2020
We get it but this is not the time to go against the grain just for the hell of it people are still dying every day the purpose of this vaccine is to save lives! If you don’t have anything that will save lives pls stfu so these medical professionals can get back to doing it
— i rly hate bugs (@shesheisty) December 4, 2020
No girl you spread false and harmful information to 366k people, you get criticized for it, learn the difference
— blake (@blakealombardo) December 4, 2020
This is a frustratingly irresponsible use of a platform.
— Alex Sawyer (@AJSawyer) December 4, 2020
1.5 million people dead from covid. my sister’s an NHS doctor and spent months watching people die first-hand. a vaccine is a shining beacon of hope right now. this is spitting in the face of the scientists and volunteers who just want to save lives
— kate (@rosiebetzler) December 4, 2020
Sis please don’t fumble that massive Marvel bag! There’s still time to delete this & say you were hacked ??
— Austin N. Austin (@Austin_n_Austin) December 4, 2020
So did you see this portion of the video and still think it was a wise idea to share this video. pic.twitter.com/YuwJ96JT3o
— Stern Ritter "B" (@803BG) December 4, 2020
not the anti vaxx, covid conspiracy, AND transphobia…. shuri deserves a better actress than that cus i know DAMN well she would punch a transphobe.
— ?? *✧ reyas *✧?? (@strifekind1) December 4, 2020
also asking questions and promoting conspiracy youtube videos about antivax are not the same thing. one is valid, the other is spreading dangerous information that literally harms people.
— there is no gender in ba sing se (@dietmangojuul) December 4, 2020
There is nothing wrong with asking questions. But you can also read the studies and the literature. You have a platform, you could ask physicians and virologists too. And you still can.
— Xay (@xayide) December 4, 2020
You're not asking any questions, rather you're using your huge platform to spread misinformation & then getting upset at people pushing back on that. Do better.
— emoBlackthoughts (@aspiringdreamer) December 4, 2020
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Yes, the speed at which the vaccine was developed may make some suspicious, but that merely indicates gaps in their understanding, such as those of Arayomi, who freely admits that he doesn’t understand vaccines in spite of the proclaimed medial background of his parents, and attempts to make up for this with rambling hyperbole.
There’s generally very little money in producing vaccines, but the way that COVID-19 has crippled the economies of most of the world’s richest countries, it was in the best interest of financiers to ensure its swift development. Thus, an unprecedented level of funding was provided to aid researchers, resulting in it being ready at a far quicker pace than usual.
While the actress is certainly within her rights to post whatever she feels strongly about, that doesn’t make her immune to people’s reactions, particularly when it’s a video on an important topic whose presenter makes clear his lack of authority on the subject. She also didn’t do herself any favors by wheeling out the “think for yourself” line in her defense, which generally translates as “disagree with people who understand something better than you ever will.”
The goodwill Letitia Wright has with fans may allow them to forgive her for this one transgression, but for some, it’ll remain a blemish on an otherwise spotless record.