Black Panther actress Letitia Wright has issued a response to an article by The Hollywood Reporter that compared her to some of Hollywood’s most infamous men.
The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever headline act posted her criticism of the article and its writer, Scott Feinberg, on her Instagram Story on Monday where she tagged the publication as being "incredibly disrespectful" and "disgusting".
In 2020, Wright shared a video on her now-deleted Twitter account that asked questions about the veracity of the vaccine and its contents. The video, which was titled "COVID-19 Vaccine, Should We Take It?" was criticized by followers and non-followers of the star, which prompted her to delete her Twitter account. However, before deleting the account, Wright apologized and stated, "not my intention to make anyone upset. 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?"
The Hollywood Reporter published the infamous story penned by its executive editor Feinberg on Monday. In the article, Feinberg attempted to explain the potential impact of personal controversy on the Oscar award-winning chances of certain actors, including Wright. He also detailed how controversial filmmakers and actors went on to win the award despite being accused of various crimes, from sexual impropriety to domestic abuse, sexual harassment, and even sexual abuse.
The story’s focus on Wright highlighted her anti-vax stance on the set of Wakanda Forever and, at the same time, compared her to controversial actors like Will Smith and Brad Pitt. Smith made headlines earlier in the year when he slapped Academy Awards host Chris Rock during the last Oscar ceremony.
Pitt, on the other hand, has been accused of domestic abuse on multiple occasions by his ex-wife Angelina Jolie. The article also mentioned other Hollywood personalities that are embroiled in one controversy or another, including Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, Casey Affleck, Gary Oldman, and Bryan Singer, some of whom have sexual abuse and misconduct allegations plaguing them.
While Feinberg explained that the accusations in the article weren’t "equally serious or solid," Wright expressed her grievances for being mentioned in the same sentence as these men. She slammed the article, saying, "How dare you. You mentioned my name alongside men who have been accused of abuse & sexual misconduct. This is vile behavior." She also mentioned that she had apologized for her anti-vax stance two years ago and has since remained silent on the issue. Wright’s stance plagued her for a long time and even put her work on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at risk.
The 29-year-old star further rebuked Feinberg’s statements that she continued discussions of her beliefs with the cast and crew of Wakanda Forever and told him to "…ASK MY PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR". The actress also stated that since her gaffe, she has remained silent and worked on her craft despite the harsh criticisms she faced. She declared she won’t remain silent anymore and accused Feinberg and The Hollywood Reporter of having an agenda against her. In her words, "Your agenda towards me is now even more clear. I won’t remain silent. Stop your disgusting behavior."
Since she put up the post, her producer Nate Moore and director Ryan Coogler have come to her defense. Moore stated that despite being "on set next to the monitor all the time," he never heard her discuss her views with her fellow cast or crew. Coogler, on the other hand, accused news outlets of spreading news that is invented.
Wright is a Guyanese-British actress who broke into the limelight in the 2015 film Urban Hymn. She gained global recognition for portraying Shuri in the first edition of MCU’s Black Panther. Over the course of her career, which includes Death on the Nile, Aisha, Sing 2, Ready Player One, Black Mirror, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, she has received numerous awards, including NAACP Awards, SAG Awards, and Teen Choice Awards.
Wright’s latest film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hasn’t performed up to expectations. Nevertheless, it has been a box-office success. Since its release two weeks ago, the film has grossed $552 million against a budget of $250 million. The film follows Wright’s character Shuri as she attempts to recreate the heart-shaped herb to save her brother T’Challa from his illness. She failed at this but was eventually able to recreate the herb in time to save her people from impending doom.
Apart from Wright, the film’s cast includes Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Michael Coel, and Tenoch Huerta Mejia who star as Nakia, Okoye, M’Baku, Ramonda, Ayo, Riri Williams, Aneka, and Namor.
In other news, Wakanda Forever’s producer has hinted that a Director’s Cut may be released somewhere down the line. Also, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has shut down rumors that Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler will be directing what will probably be the studio’s biggest film post Avengers: Endgame in Avengers: Secret Wars.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently showing in cinemas all over the world.