“Black Panther” star Letitia Wright shut down a report saying she espoused COVID-19 misinformation on the set of the Marvel sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
Wright, who plays the titular superhero’s brilliant sister, Shuri, in the franchise, took to Instagram Tuesday to assert that the conduct referenced in the Hollywood Reporter’s Oct. 6 story “was completely untrue.”
The report, which was more broadly about the vaccine mandate debate in Hollywood, name-checked the actress and said she shared anti-vaccine positions on social media. It also cited a source on the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” set who alleged she “espoused similar views about the COVID-19 vaccines on the Atlanta production.”
Indeed, the 27-year-old deleted some of her social media accounts in December after sparking a backlash for posting a video questioning the legitimacy of the vaccines, skepticism about climate change and transphobic comments. She also reportedly parted ways with her entire U.S. team of representatives after the incident.
The breakout “Avengers” actress who initially had a flippant response to being “canceled” in December, addressed the controversy somberly this time around.
“It saddens me to have to address the reports published by The Hollywood Reporter on October 6th 2021,” she wrote on Instagram. “The report spoke about my conduct on the set of black Panther 2. I honestly assert that this was completely untrue.”
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me, knows that I work incredibly hard at my craft & my main focus is always to do work that’s impactful and inspiring. That has been & will continue to be my only focus,” she added.
Wright’s accompanying photo quoted a Bible verse and said she would “continue to hold onto Gods hands, and onto the scripture of Isaiah 54:17.”
That verse, quoted in her photo, says: “Weapons made to attack you won’t be successful; words spoken against you won’t hurt at all.”
Wright said she would continue to focus on her “healing” and thanked fans for their prayers.
The story’s reporters and representatives for the Hollywood Reporter did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.
The actress was briefly hospitalized in Boston in August after sustaining minor injuries while filming a stunt for the film there.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” is the highly anticipated follow-up to the 2018 Marvel smash starring Chadwick Boseman in the titular role. Little is known about the plot of the new film, but Wright’s character, who is the fictional kingdom’s heir-apparent, was reportedly given a larger role in the sequel after Boseman’s unexpected death in August 2020.
Some comic book fans interpreted that to mean Shuri could succeed her elder brother as the superhero just like her character did in the comics written by Reginald Hudlin from 2005 to 2009. Neither Disney nor Marvel has confirmed that conjecture.
The film, which is again directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler, is slated for release in July 2022.
Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige told Deadline in January that the sequel, which won’t recast T’Challa or use a CG version of the actor, will focus on “furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda.”