Black Panther star Letitia Wright has come under fire after sharing a transphobic COVID-19 conspiracy video to her Twitter.
Wright, who also starred in Infinity War, responded to criticism by joking about getting “cancelled” for not conforming “to popular opinions.”
The video in question was created by anti-vaxxers Tomi and Tobi Arayomi, and was removed from YouTube because of the misinformation it contained, LGBTQ Nation reports.
In the video, Tomi Arayomi, who says he doesn’t “understand vaccines medically,” calls himself a “big sceptic of needles and vaccinations in general” and says that those receiving COVID-19 vaccines will have to “hope it doesn’t make extra limbs grow.”
To justify his opposition to the science behind COVID-19, Arayomi tried to make a comparison to transgender people.
“If you look at somebody that was genetically born a male but you say ‘that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl, that’s a girl’ enough times, eventually you will force compliance by the composition of my speech to say something that I just technically, biologically don’t believe it,” he said.
After Twitter users called Wright out for sharing the video, she responded by saying it was intended to “ask questions.”
“If you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled 😂,” she tweeted on Dec. 4.
She later wrote: “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.”
LGBTQ fans of the actress responded by noting the transphobia contained in the video, with one person writing that she was “breaking your trans fans hearts” by sharing it.
After Wright’s “ask questions” comment, one fan responded: “So do you stand behind all of it as questions you are asking? There are directly trans antagonistic parts do you stand behind that?”
Another Twitter user told Wright to apologize for using her platform to boost someone “peddling transphobia.”
“What’s most irresponsible and harmful about the way you’ve chosen to use your boosted voice and platform is that you’re peddling transphobia right in front of our salads with this video,” they tweeted. “The trans community deserves an apology and a retraction.”
Wright’s Marvel Cinematic Universe co-star Don Cheadle responded after Twitter users alerted him to the video she had shared.
“Jesus… just scrolled through. hot garbage,” he wrote, adding that Arayomi “sounded crazy and fkkkd up.”
“I would never defend anybody posting this. but i still won’t throw her away over it,” Cheadle said, adding that he would speak to Wright “off twitter.”
Both Wright’s Instagram and Twitter accounts later appeared to have been made unavailable to view.
Cheadle made headlines last year after wearing a t-shirt on Saturday Night Live that said “Protect Trans Kids.”
The Human Rights Campaign praised the actor for the show of support, tweeting, “Thank you Don Cheadle for using your visibility to stand up for trans youth and being an ally to #ProtectTransKids.”
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!