Two years ago, Letitia Wright sparked a controversy, liking and retweeting tweets supporting the cancellation of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. In addition, she helped spread an anti-vax video that included transphobic comments.
In a move similar to Warner Bros. Discovery's reaction to Ezra Miller's many controversies, Disney decided not to address the matter directly. This was especially the case when it seemed to end after Wright deleted her Twitter account with Disney, believing the issue would blow over.
It did for a time until the controversy flared up months later when Wright decided to recover from a stunt performance accident in the UK. However, it was uncertain if she could return for shooting in the US due to her not following vaccine protocols.
Of course, representatives for the actress denied it, but it seems like it was very much a problem for Disney at the time.
Trouble for Letitia Wright in Hollywood
On the podcast, "The Town with Matt Belloni," Deadline senior reporter Justin Knoll discussed Letitia Wright's stock among her under-30 acting peers with its host, Matt Belloni.
Belloni, a former editor for The Hollywood Reporter and co-founder of Puck News, didn't sugarcoat his thoughts on Wright, describing how the production for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was "absolutely disrupted by some of the stuff [Letitia Wright did]," specifically her anti-vax comments.
Also, how Wright had flown back to the UK during production, bringing up "questions about whether she could come back" due to her ambiguous vaccination status and how that incident was "a pain" for Marvel Studios.
Kroll explained how in Hollywood, there are many actors "who aren't vaccinated that chose not to do it," but stipulates that, unlike Wright, they "were quiet about it." But, Knoll assured that "once she started being vocal, you didn't hear her name for [roles]."
In this industry, "you can be crazy and be a jerk and still get names," but when it becomes public and puts off audiences, "that's when the studio execs get wary about you."
As for Wright's anti-vax comments, it was "very touchy" and how she was "one of the small group that people singled out" regarding those views. "I think that it scares execs," Knoll continues, "when you're a young star you want to make sure you're getting meetings."
"When you're losing meetings, that doesn't help you in your trajectory," before Knoll ends on a more positive note for Wright and that it "doesn't mean that after Black Panther 2, it won't change, though."
After all, as Knoll said, she's been keeping quiet about her more unpopular opinions, and with the inevitable success of Wakanda Forever, she'll likely be getting more meetings in Hollywood.
Faded Controversy for Black Panther
Knoll seems spot on about audience perception (or lack thereof) mattering, as cynical as it is. It's startling to realize how much controversy surrounded Wright and the Black Panther sequel, but as soon as the actress finally kept quiet, it slowly vanished.
As for Wright's Hollywood career resurging after Wakanda Forever, if the film ends up being as good and successful as it looks from the trailer, it'll certainly help sway executives' fears. But, will it be enough for more fans who do remember Wright's comments and responses to the controversy?
Time will tell when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is released in theaters on November 11.