On Friday, the 27-year-old actress tweeted that she didn’t intend to hurt anyone by sharing the video.
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.
— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) December 4, 2020
Wright, who is Guyanese and raised in Britain, shared an hour-long video made by Tomi Arayomi, a self-described “prophet” and “Managing Director of Prophetic Voice TV – An online mission that seeks to restore the ability to hear the voice of God to every person on every sphere of influence.”
In the video, Arayomi openly stated that while he’s not a medical expert, he felt compelled to question the safety of the vaccine.
“I don’t understand vaccines medically, but I’ve always been a little bit of a skeptic of them,” he said.
“We can just get that (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,” he continued.
The “Small Axe” actress tweeted a response that further angered her critics and some of her supporters.
“If you don’t conform to popular opinions, but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled,” she wrote.
if you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled 😂
— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) December 4, 2020
The Emmy Award nominee added more fuel to the fire after she liked a tweet that called for her re-casting in the next installment of “Black Panther,” and a tweet that said the movie should be canceled.
Cancel Black Panther 2 immediately
— HTown Boss (@boss_htown) December 4, 2020
— TheKingofReads (@TheKingofReads) December 4, 2020
She also liked tweets that discussed the history of racism in the medical field and others that opened up the floor to take up questions with medical authorities.
The controversy comes as the U.K. announced they would be the first to distribute a coronavirus vaccine in response to the increase of COVID-19 infections and deaths across the globe. Wright’s tweet falls in a sensitive timespan as health officials are desperately trying to convince Black communities that the vaccines are safe.
Pfizer claims their vaccine has a 95 percent effectiveness rate, while Moderna, a competing biotechnical company says their vaccine has an effectiveness rate over 94 percent.
Wright’s calling out points to a larger issue of how the Black community feels about our medical institutions which have rarely served us. Wright is also experiencing her first major public backlash, a hard lesson on the responsibilities of having a large platform as a celebrity with fame and access.
Many were upset over Wright’s choice to tweet this form of speculation after portraying Black characters with extensive power and knowledge in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). A large portion of her followers stated that Wright is only voicing the fears of Black people across the globe who have been historically subjugated against in the field of medicine.
Other’s brought up that Arayomi also spread transphobia in the video, somehow forcing a connection between questioning the coronavirus vaccine and the trans community.
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
To date, the coronavirus continues to disproportionately affect Black communities faced with inequalities accelerated by systemic racism and predisposed conditions.
Keep reading to see how people on social media were responding to Wright.
All right. This is the stock answer for celebrities who don’t care about the harm and misinformation theyre spreading. Lost cause. https://t.co/mU3foUBFEk— Brooke Is Openly Black (@BrookeObie) December 4, 2020
Ryan Coogler re-writing the Black Panther script for the third time because Letitia Wright pic.twitter.com/C9q8fj6O0P— thiccTurtles (@Thiccturtles_) December 4, 2020
This seems about right pic.twitter.com/zU2wtAH2oJ— Todoroki's Side Piece (@MariBryson) December 4, 2020
Hold up hold let me say this and make myself very clear y’all gonna leave @letitiawright alone and that’s on period and I mean neooooow. She’s allowed to think feel and believe what she’s wants. Y’all not cancelling her she is still #Shuri y’all need a nap #ISaidWhatISaid pic.twitter.com/MNwd1BoGZu— 🚧Work On Me By Kegan Miller Out Now 🚧 (@IamKeganMiller) December 4, 2020
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.— roxane gay (@rgay) December 4, 2020
No, please not you, if you're not a professional please do not spread wrong info, as an actress you have a bigger platform that should be used with responsability and respect, if you don't want to take the vaccine don't do it, but do not spread this info to people.— Lizbeth Michel (@lyzbethm) December 4, 2020
Letitia Wright’s publicist right now pic.twitter.com/iAmFrJVJTV— Mitchell Beaupre (@itismitchell) December 4, 2020