Disney Plus’s The Mandalorian has generated a fair amount of controversy this year due to the social media behavior and subsequent removal of supporting player Gina Carano, which produced a lot of backlash. Unfortunately, it now appears that another member of the cast, professional wrestler Sasha Banks, is being cancelled for liking an anti-vaccine post.
Otherwise known as Mercedes Varnado, Banks made her acting debut in the second season of the Star Wars spinoff, playing Nite Owl Koska Reeves in a small but reasonably prominent role. However, the 29-year-old might be facing some tough consequences for her career by inciting criticism for sharing her support for a message repeating conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines and masks.
We won’t give the poster additional exposure here, but suffice it to say that it bundles together a collection of discredited nonsense on the risks of COVID vaccines and the apparent harm of wearing a protective mask. Although we could give Varnado the benefit of the doubt that she’s not an anti-vaxxer, and this was an isolated incident, it is somewhat baffling that a high-profile name could put herself in such a difficult position.
Unsurprisingly, then, the response on Twitter has been brutal, from fans expressing their potential devastation if Banks does turn out to actually believe these conspiracies, to those who are happy to use it as a reason to cancel the celebrity. Given the way Carano handled her own backing of offensive views, we’d hope that Varnado is able to hold her hands up and admit that she made a mistake.
Sasha Banks and AJ Styles meeting on flat earth where there’s gravity pic.twitter.com/lJFpHF8DLx
— Chris (@purplemercy_) June 26, 2021
just found out Sasha Banks is an antivaxxer :/ pic.twitter.com/gNUKERaJVe
— dreamander (@zanysoup) June 26, 2021
To all the Sasha stans STILL trying to defend her…
She’s liked COVID conspiracy theories – she’s going to get hate!
— WWE Mad (@WWE__Mad) June 27, 2021
if sasha banks is legit anti-vax i will be fucking devastated
— Tech Jet (@T3chJ3t) June 26, 2021
If not, then the Mouse House may have to recast her for The Mandalorian, especially considering the continued and very real danger of vaccine deniers and those spreading misinformation related to a public health crisis. While cancel culture can sometimes get carried away, it’s hard in this situation not to see Banks’ actions as jeopardizing her future in Hollywood.