When news broke that the UK government had signed off on a vaccine to Covid 19, we were obviously thrilled. Our lives have changed significantly this year, and we have effectively lost nine months to lockdowns and social distancing. Naturally, we can’t wait for our turn for a vaccination, and for the more vulnerable members of society to get their hands on it first. But what’s clear is that not everyone is so celebratory, including Black Panther star Letitia Wright.
Last night Letitia, who won a BAFTA Rising Star Award, tweeted a video from YouTube channel On The Table. The clip, hosted by Tomi Arayomi, expressed cynicism about vaccines, and suggested that the miraculous new offering is not what it seems. She posted a prayer hands emoji, implying that she is one of the many individuals complaining about the breakthrough.
Naturally, many of her folllowers asked her to reconsider her stance. Conspiracy theories and scepticism are, after all, harmful: you never know who will decide against a life-saving injection because someone they respect has cast unfounded doubt over it. But Letitia doubled down.
‘If you don't conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself....you get cancelled,’ she tweeted in a follow up.
One follower told her she was upsetting her fans. ‘Not my intention to make anyone upset,’ she said. ‘Nor am I saying don't take it. I'm just concerned about what's in it that's all. Isn't that fair to question or ask?’
‘[I] still have a right to worry about how my body will react’, she added. ‘It's not lazy, it's thinking for myself."
Even Don Cheadle, a fellow Marvel star, got involved with a simple tweet: ‘Bye, Letitia ...’ He later deleted that post, but did add that he watched the video.
Jesus’, he wrote. ‘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.’
Scrutiny is, of course, important. But it’s important for celebrities to think hard before they contribute to something that could be truly dangerous.