Letitia Wright had some explaining to do to Marvel Studios over the weekend. The execs there weren’t happy with the controversial tweets their Black Panther actress sent out regarding COVID vaccinations. She’s been accused of spreading what some see as disinformation around the topic. Marvel hasn’t released any official statement about the actress’s social media yet, but apparently, there were some behind the scenes conversations expressing their displeasure.
Whatever went on between Marvel and Letitia Wright has led, in the short term, to the future Black Panther 2 star to deleting her Twitter and other social media accounts. It’s a big move for Wright, who is poised to take the lead in Wakanda for the much-anticipated sequel. It may have been a coordinated response, pushed by studio heads who were looking to limit the backlash to Wright in the short term.
The apparent controversy for Letitia Wright stems from her sharing and liking a series of tweets that appear to push back against COVID-19 vaccination efficacy. Those tweets, labeled anti-vaccine and possibly even falling into the conspiracy theory level of information, came out late last week. Fans and followers were quick to jump on Wright for sharing what some felt were “hoax” tweets and videos. They quickly began the standard overreaction line calling for her to be kicked off her upcoming Marvel movies.
Initially, the actress pushed back against fans calling for her to be removed from Black Panther 2 over the tweets, evening *liking* (ironically presumably) tweets that suggested her ouster. She didn’t seem all that affected by the negative backlash, even quasi-laughing off the idea of getting canceled for sharing her opinions. Judging from the general tone of Letitia Wright’s initial responses, she didn’t seem to take the backlash all that seriously. But then she deleted the Tweets in question and then went on to delete her Twitter account entirely. It’s unclear if this move was under her own volition or if the studio pushed her to get out of the social media scene for the time being.
After the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman over the summer, Marvel Studios had signaled they would still be moving forward with a Black Panther sequel. Speculation had Letitia Wright’s Shuri character taking up the mantle as the next ruler of Wakanda in Black Panther 2. From a storyline perspective, this made sense. The character has a history in the Black Panther suit from the comic books and had a number of different arcs with nemesis like Namor the Submariner specifically.
It’s currently unlikely these tweets by Letitia Wright will end up costing her future roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While her views may be controversial in some circles, they don’t appear the type that would invite much more than standard internet hair-trigger backlash. Moving off of social media for the time being (maybe even permanently) is likely as much a PR move as anything else.
Black Panther 2 is set for a May 6, 2022 release as part of Marvel’s Phase 4. With such a long runway until that hits screens and Letitia Wright off social media for the foreseeable future, I suspect we see her right back on screen as Shuri.