‘Black Panther’ star Letitia Wright under fire for posting anti-vax video

Letitia Wright attends the opening film at the 64th BFI London Film Festival on October 7, 2020. Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Letitia Wright, one of the biggest stars of movie Black Panther, was widely criticized Thursday for posting an “anti-vax” video to her social media.

(“Anti-vax” or “anti-vaxxer” refers to a person who opposes vaccination or laws that mandate vaccination.)

In a now-deleted tweet originally posted on Thursday night, the British-Guyanese actor, 27, posted an hour-long-plus video from YouTube channel On The Table, which features content and discussions from Tomi Arayomi, a high-ranking member of Christian ministry Light London Church, along with his brother, Tobi.

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Among other things, Arayomi questions the efficacy and legitimacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, makes negative remarks about transgender people, and blames China for the spread of COVID-19 around the world.

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“These are the dangers of the world we’re entering into today, where if you say a thing enough times people will actually believe it’s true,” said Tomi Arayomi at one point in the video, taking issue with some of the world’s biggest humanitarian organizations.

“This kind of science by convenience where I’ll believe in science when it’s convenient to global warming, but I won’t believe in it when it’s convenient to gender, when it inconveniences my particular ideology, is the very reason why if you’re working in the UN, World Health Organization, or the mass news or dial media heads, the reason the public doesn’t believe you.”

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As for vaccines, Arayomi says, “I am just a big skeptic of needles and vaccinations in general. I think the body should be able to produce the right antibodies to fight things.”

“We can just get (the vaccine) out there and hope it doesn’t make extra limbs grow, hope to God you don’t develop children that have 11 fingers and 12 toes. We are hoping for the best. We have seen vaccines do damage before.”

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He did not provide evidence for any of his claims, which contradict established science and extensive medical trials.

After posting, Wright received a lot of backlash, to which she replied:

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Writer Roxane Gay replied, “Thinking for yourself doesn’t mean you’re right. And you aren’t cancelled. But damn. Promoting anti-vaccine propaganda and shrouding it in intellectual curiosity is asinine. And dangerous.”

Laura Leishman, host at Radio France, responded, “All the questions you have have (sic) been answered, you’re just too lazy to read a medical journal.”

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Wright replied to Leishman and several others who commented — not all remarks to her were negative — and in her replies she defends her right to question the vaccine and whether she would take it. (You can follow all the conversations here on Twitter.)

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Avengers star Don Cheadle initially waded into the conversation defending her, but once he watched the video he changed his tune, calling it “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.”

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On Friday morning, Wright clarified why she posted the video.

Global News has reached out to Wright’s representatives for comment.

Canada has seen more than 394,000 cumulative coronavirus cases to date, and over 12,000 Canadians have died from the illness.

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The government is aiming to be ready to receive vaccine doses before Christmas, said the government’s lead on the nations’ COVID-19 distribution of a vaccine, Dany Fortin, on Thursday.

Officials also said the first physical vaccine doses won’t be arriving until early January, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he expects the majority of Canadians to be vaccinated by September.

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With files from Rachel Gilmore