Letitia Wright faces backlash after sharing anti-vaccination video

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LONDON – Hollywood actor Letitia Wright sparked a wave of criticism from fans and followers after sharing anti-vaccination propaganda.

Wright, who starred alongside the late Chadwick Boseman in the 2018 hit movie ‘Black Panther’, posted a video on Twitter Thursday that makes unsubstantiated claims about the coronavirus vaccines. She was quickly reprimanded for being “irresponsible” and “reckless”.

Among those who called her was the “Avengers: Endgame” co-star Don Cheadle, who on Friday called the video a “burning trash”, adding that he “would never stand up for anyone posting this”.

Wright, who did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment, said she was not against taking a vaccine, but just wanted to ask questions.

“I’m just concerned with what’s in it, that’s all,” she first wrote on Twitter, interacting with fans.

Faced with a flood of comments, the star of Guyanese origin defended on Friday by tweeting: “My ONLY intention to publish the video was that it raised my concerns about what is in the vaccine and what we put in our bodies. . “

The video Wright shared included a lengthy monologue by Tomi Arayomi, founder of a Christian ministry.

In it, Arayomi said companies and government were not transparent and questioned the ingredients of vaccines. He did not provide any evidence for his claims, which echo those of others who have baselessly criticized the use of the vaccine.

The video has garnered over 35,000 views.

Misinformation about vaccines and conspiracy theories have exploded during the coronavirus pandemic. At a time when the United States faces an increase in the number of cases and deaths, a network of anti-vaxxer activists is finding new audiences, mainly on social media.

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The controversy comes the same week the UK became the first Western country to officially approve the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, a symbolic step in the fight against the pandemic.

But public opinion on vaccines is mixed. According to an August YouGov poll, only 42% of Americans said ‘yes’ to whether they would receive a Covid-19 vaccine when it became available.

Meanwhile, hospitalization and death rates from Covid-19 among blacks, Latinos and Native Americans are two to four times higher than among whites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fueled by a history of medical experimentation and unequal access to care, people in black and Latin communities struggling with high rates of Covid-19 are among the least likely to be vaccinated, according to health advocates.

Last month, eight prominent black doctors wrote a “love letter to black America” ​​to encourage people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and overcome reluctance and mistrust of vaccines.

Wright, a rising BAFTA star in 2019, played Shuri, the technological genius sister of Boseman’s character in “Black Panther” set in the futuristic nation of Wakanda. The film broke new ground with its predominantly black cast.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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