Black Panther star Letitia Wright faced social media backlash after sharing an anti-vaccine video on Twitter Thursday night.
The video in questions is from YouTube personality Tom Arayomi, where he admitted that doesn’t understand the coronavirus vaccines medically. He added that he has always been a “little bit of a skeptic” about the vaccine’s effectiveness.
The video also criticized the media, as well as coronavirus lockdown measures imposed in US states. YouTube already took down the video for violating its terms of service.
“These are the dangers of the world we’re entering into today, where if you say a thing enough times people will actually believe it’s true,” says Arayomi in the video.
Wright reposted the video with a prayer hands emoji, effectively endorsing the video’s message. The actress already deleted her tweets after dozens of back-and-forth exchanges with people criticizing her stand. On Saturday, Wright apparently deleted both her Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Many Twitter users accused Wright of spreading harmful and unverified information. Marvel fans called for her to be fired from the upcoming Black Panther 2.
Letitia Wright plays the role of Shuri, one of the smartest people on the planet, a resident genius of Wakanda.
The actress responded with a non-apology statement on Friday morning. She explained 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…Nothing else,” she wrote on Twitter.
The actor’s comments against the coronavirus vaccines easily caught the public’s attention as the US battles continued increase of COVID-19 cases in its states.
Thursday marked the worst day of numbers reported in the pandemic so far. The country recorded more than 217,000 new coronavirus cases and nearly 3,000 deaths.
Big pharmaceutical companies have already promised various kinds of potential vaccines to cure COVID-19. A vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech has already been approved by the UK government.
Red Cross has long warned about the spread of fake news surrounding coronavirus vaccines, calling it a “second pandemic”.
Wright, on her part, argued that she was just only asking questions about the vaccines. She responded to critics, “if you don’t conform to popular opinions. But ask questions and think for yourself…you get cancelled.”
On the same day of Wright’s controversial tweet, Facebook announced that it will begin removing false claims about coronavirus vaccines.
The move is an extension of Facebook’s coronavirus misinformation policy. The announcement comes as experts worry that conspiracy theories could limit the number of people who get them.
Facebook said it would take action against false claims about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
“For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list,” the company said in the blog post.
“We will also remove conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines that we know today are false: like specific populations are being used without their consent to test the vaccine’s safety.”
Facebook said that the new enforcement on vaccine misinformation will happen gradually.
“We will also continue to help people stay informed about these vaccines by promoting authoritative sources of information through our COVID-19 Information Center.”