British-Guyanese actress Letitia Wright has been scolded by fans after sharing a controversial video Thursday with unsubstantiated claims about the coronavirus vaccine.
The actress, who starred alongside thein the blockbuster film "Black Panther," shared an hourlong YouTube video with her 360,000 Twitter followers.
In the video from On The Table, a discussion channel, host Tomi Arayomi voiced unsubstantiated claims about the dangers of taking vaccines.
"I don't understand vaccines medically, but I've always been a little bit of a skeptic of them," Arayomi said, stating that he doesn't know if he can trust a vaccine for coronavirus. At one point, he says those who decide to get vaccinated should "hope to God it doesn't make extra limbs grow."
Wright immediately found herself in hot water with her fans, who condemned the star for using her platform to share misinformation. The post even drew criticism from "Iron Man" actor Don Cheadle, who described the video as "hot garbage" after Twitter users tagged him in several posts, beckoning him to respond. "Jesus... just scrolled through. hot garbage. every time i stopped and listened, he and everything he said sounded crazy and fkkkd up," Cheadle tweeted. "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."
Author and essayist Roxane Gay, who wrote the spin-off comic book "Black Panther: World of Wakanda," also chimed into the heated Twitter thread. "Promoting anti-vaccine propaganda and shrouding it in intellectual curiosity is asinine. And dangerous," wrote Gay.
Wright told commenters she was just asking questions and responded to individual fans who denounced her sharing the clip. "Just using my own mind to think - which I'm free to do," the 27-year-old said in response to one user.
Following the flood of criticism, Wright tweeted "if you don't conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself....you get cancelled."
By Friday morning, the original post with the link to the video had been taken down. But Wright, who currently stars in Steve McQueen's "Small Axe," stood by her comments saying her "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," she said. "Nothing else."
Britain has become the first country in the West to approve a COVID-19 vaccine. However, its rapid release has raised eyebrows among many, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who criticized the U.K. for rushing through the approval process. He later apologized for his comments.
Stateside, the Food and Drug Administration is expected toauthorization in the coming weeks for two separate vaccines from pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and biotech company Moderna. While widespread misinformation about the coronavirus vaccines spreads online, the scientific consensus on the jabs is that they are safe and effective. Promising results show that the vaccines expected to be released by the end of the year appear to be in preventing COVID-19.
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