Hmmm… Black Panther star Letitia Wright sure has some questions to answer after appearing to support the anti-vaccine position in regards to COVID-19!
The 27-year-old found herself in hot water on Twitter on Thursday night after she tweeted out a link to an anti-vaxxer YouTube channel’s video questioning one particular ingredient going through some of the COVID-19 vaccine trials.
Both Wright’s tweet and the video itself — which originated on a channel called On The Table — have since been deleted from Twitter and YouTube, respectively. In her tweet, the Guyanese actress had posted the praying hands emoji in addition to sharing the video link. Almost immediately, that got her fans and followers intent on calling her out for sharing anti-vaccine, conspiracy-adjacent views.
At issue for Wright, apparently, was the presence of an ingredient in the vaccine called “Luciferase.” A self-proclaimed Christian, the actress appeared to connect with the fact that the now-deleted video questioned the name of that ingredient, connecting it to, well, Lucifer in the Bible.
Of course, had Wright done any sort of cursory research on Luciferase, she would’ve found that it’s simply a generic term for a certain class of oxidative enzymes that produce bioluminescence. You know the cool, late-night ocean and/or lagoon bioluminescence you sometimes see pictures of online?! You know, when living things light up in the dark. Yeah, that involves luciferase. Nothing evil about it! Just cool science!
(Fun fact: “lucifer” just means “light-bearing” in Latin — the devil’s name for when he was an angel in Christian mythology was meant to describe how bright he shone before breaking bad.)
Wright nevertheless had to be schooled on that, with followers dunking on her all night long, many reacting in disappointment that she essentially outed herself as an anti-vaxxer. Many also pointed to some alleged transphobia in the video. Here are just a few of the reactions (below):
“What vaccines contain is tested and verified by scientist. We can have doubts and questions, but also we should trust our scientists, doctors and providers far more than you did. If you don’t have officials resources about something, please, don’t write and inform yourself.”
“I don’t question your intentions. I know they’re pure. But keep in mind that these vaccines have been tested. Very thoroughly. If you use your influence getting people to doubt their benefit however, then less people will get vaccinated. And more people will die. That’s a fact.”
“You have to understand the platform you have & the responsibility that comes with having such a platform. The video not only has several things disproven by easy googling, misrepresentation of common chemicals, but is also transphobic. Thats what you shared while tripling down.”
“No, you are spreading misinformation and fear, especially in the Black community which has been impacted most. It’s irresponsible and arrogant. The video you posted isn’t from a doctor or scientist, but from some random dude on YouTube.”
“If you had watched the full video (and by posting it, you accept responsibility that you did), you would have seen that the video also promotes transphobia. Even if you didn’t want to hurt anyone about the vaccine, you need to make sure you’re a trans ally.”
“Letitia I adore you and everything you’ve done but you’re making us Christians look dumb af”
“You have a powerful voice right now. You can do a lot of good. Sharing videos of preachers telling people to not get vaccinated during a pandemic that’s killing people (with higher than average mortality rates amongst blacks) while also spouting transphobic hatred is NOT good.”
“You couldn’t read an article from an actual doctor? Or a scientist? Or even a news outlet? You trust some random YouTube video? Where is the critical thinking in that?”
In other words…
Twitter went on and on from there, leading Letitia to jump back online late Thursday night and double down with this tweet:
Still doesn’t get it, does she?! Wright isn’t getting “cancelled” for having the wrong opinion or whatever, she’s getting rightfully called out for saying something willfully ignorant!!! We mean, gurl, you have the Internet right in front of you, just 5 minutes of research would have fixed this!
Eventually it wasn’t just strangers calling out the Marvel star. Her Avengers: Infinity War co-star Don Cheadle was asked about it by a fan on Twitter and at first treated the whole thing as a joke.
But when he started getting called out for ignoring the transphobia, he replied:
“i haven’t seen it. i’ll watch and pull her coat if it’s off. i was jabbing at her for her tweet rhyming letitia with felicia. that was the joke walking from set to trailer. and if folk think i’m transphobic… i’m not. if she went transphobe, fire away. but i’ll personally take it to her if she said something crazy. not to twitter. that’s how i do it with friends and how i hope they do it with me if i fkkk up. trying to find it now.”
Then he watched.
“jesus… just scrolled through. hot garbage. every time i stopped and listened, he and everything he said sounded crazy and fkkkd 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.”
Maybe the talk they had off Twitter helped? Finally, early on Friday morning, Letitia walked back her actions and started to sound like she was at least open to being held accountable for them:
That’s certainly better than posting the conspiracy-laden video in the first place!!!
What do U think about this COVID conspiracy, Perezcious readers? Will U take the vaccine if/when it becomes available? What do you think of Letitia’s actions here?!
Sound OFF about everything down in the comments (below)…
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