Spoilers ahead for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is nearly over, wrapping up with the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Throughout this phase Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was the most hotly anticipated upcoming Marvel movies, resulting in wild box office success once it was released. The movie was in jeopardy for a while there due to the death of Chawick Boseman, as well as the injury and semi-cancellation of Shuri actress Letitia Wright. And Wright recently talked about that backlash, 2 years after sharing vaccine stance while filming Black Panther 2.
Marvel’s Letitia Wright landed herself in hot water in December of 2020, while in the midst of filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She shared a controversial video on twitter, where a self-proclaimed prophet expressed anti-vax and homophobic rhetoric. The 29 year-old actress ended up apologizing and deleting her Twitter, before returning to the set to finish filming Ryan Coogler’s sequel. Wright recently broke her silence about the controversy during an interview with The Guardian, saying:
This sentiment is no doubt going to be a relief for Marvel fans who might be having conflicting feelings about Letitia Wright since the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. While she gave an outstanding and emotional performance in the long-awaited sequel, there were some who still had questions about the actress’ character IRL.
Letitia Wright’s comments to The Guardian is seemingly the only time that her vaccine-related controversy has been addressed while doing press for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Ryan Coogler’s sequel transformed Shuri from a supporting player to the movie’s protagonist, as Wright’s character grieved her late brother and eventually became the next Panther. Shuri seemed like the most obvious choice from the beginning, so the actress’ controversies got a ton of attention at the time.
While in conversation with The Guardian about Black Panther 2, journalist Simon Hattenstone asked a follow up to Letitia Wright. Namely is the anti-vax and homophobic views that were shared in the now-deleted YouTube clip misrepresented her values. She confirmed that what the apology was about, responding with:
This is where the journalist reportedly pressed one more, asking if Letitia Wright has since been vaccinated for Covid-19. Health protocols on movie sets have intensified since production resumed on TV and movie projects. She said:
Letitia Wright sidestepped this inquiry about her private medical information, but this honest conversation with The Guardian might provide some much-needed closure for fans who were having mixed feelings about the actress and her role in Black Panther 2. It does seem like the franchise will very much focus on Shuri now, so smart money says Wright is here to stay. Although more questions about this controversy might end up following future projects.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now, and continuing to make great money at the box office. The MCU will return to theaters in Phase Five with Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania on February 17th, 2023. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your movie trips in the New Year.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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