Don Cheadle has called out his Avengers: Endgame co-star Letitia Wright after she shared an anti-vaxxer video on Twitter.
Black Panther star Wright has been criticised for sharing a link to a video from the YouTube channel On The Table, in which ‘prophet’ Tomi Arayomi questioned the safety and effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine in a largely fact-free hour-long monologue.
The 27-year-old actress began trending on Twitter as people criticised her for sharing misinformation with her followers, as well as noting that Arayomi made transphobic comments in the video.
Cheadle, 56, was among those who called out the actress, but said that he would not ‘throw her away over it’.
The actor, who plays War Machine in the MCU, addressed the situation after he quote-tweeted Wright’s tweet which read: ‘‘If you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled.’
In a now-deleted tweet, Cheadle added: ‘Bye, Letitia’, putting a spin on the dismissive send-off ‘Bye Felicia’, which has featured in the films The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Friday.
A follower told Cheadle to read up on what was said in the video, with the actor responding: ‘i will. but even if it rankles me there’s no way i’m throwing her in the dustbin.’
Another reply read: ‘Don, we were f***ing rooting for you. The some of the things said in the video Letitia tweeted were straight up uncalled for. I’m sorry but I’m not okay with the transphobia shown in said video.’
In the video, Arayomi says: ‘Look at somebody is genetically born a male but you say that’s a girl… enough times, eventually you will force compliance by the composition of my speech to say something that I just technically, biologically don’t believe in.’
Cheadle, who wore a t-shirt reading ‘Protect Trans Kids’ while hosting Saturday Night Live last year, tweeted: ‘i haven’t seen it. i’ll watch and pull her coat if it’s off. i was jabbing at her for her tweet rhyming letitia with felicia. that was the joke walking from set to trailer. and if folk think i’m transphobic..’
He added in reply to another person: ‘if she went transphobe, fire away. but i’ll personally take it to her if she said something crazy. not to twitter. that’s how i do it with friends and how i hope they do it with me if i fkkk up. trying to find it now.’
After finding the offending video, Cheadle watched it and said he would ‘not defend’ Wright for posting it.
The Hotel Rwanda star wrote: ‘jesus… just scrolled through. hot garbage. every time i stopped and listened, he and everything he said sounded crazy and fkkkd up. 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.’
Wright, who plays Shuri in the MCU, stars alongside Cheadle in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
The video shared by the actress claimed death numbers were inflated to keep people in fear, claimed that Dr Anthony Fauci has never been fact-checked, said that the effectiveness of masks was up for debate, and appeared to deny climate change has been caused by humans.
Arayomi, who is not a doctor, said he has always been sceptical of vaccines and said: ‘We can just get this out there and hope to god it doesn’t make extra limbs grow, hope to go you don’t develop children who have 11 fingers and 12 toes.’
Wright shared the video with her 367,000 Twitter followers, captioning the post with the prayer hands emoji.
The Black Mirror star began trending as she was accused of peddling misinformation and fear-mongering.
One person tweeted: ‘All the questions you have have been answered, you’re just too lazy to read a medical journal’, with Wright replying: ‘Still have a right to worry about how my body will react. It’s not lazy, it’s thinking for myself.’
In response to a tweet saying ‘Asking questions and promoting conspiracy youtube videos about antivax are not the same thing. one is valid, the other is spreading dangerous information that literally harms people’, she wrote: ‘No, if you watched it fully he’s just asking what’s in it and if it’s right for our bodies.’
Writer Mikki Kendall tweeted: ‘I think there are excellent reasons to have some skepticism, but I will say to you that much of the focus on marginalized populations now is really about the greater risk we face of death than other groups. It’s an attempt to circumvent our immediate danger from Covid.’
Wright responded: ‘understood…but even with this, is it still okay to be concerned that we aren’t completely 100% sure on whats inside and how our body will react to it?’
The anti-vaxxer movement has picked up speed in recent years, with many falsely claiming that vaccines are linked to autism in children; the scientific consensus is that there is no link between vaccines and autism.
The conspiracy theories and safety concerns around vaccines have been directly linked to the return of diseases that had been largely eradicated, with the 30% worldwide increase in measles in 2019 directly attributed to the growing opposition to vaccines.
Credit: Original article published here.