Marvel Studios has officially commented on old reports of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's Letitia Wright refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Back in 2021, it was reported by The Hollywood Reporter that Wright had been "espousing" her views about the virus' vaccine. Her stance was a controversial one, which earned her plenty of pushback during the height of the pandemic in late 2020.
While publically addressing it, the actress managed to avoid confirming her behavior directly, but she did note that she feels it important to "keep going strong with what you believe in."
The drama even culminated in exaggerated reports that Letitia Wright had been fired from her role in Black Panther 2. Other insiders, such as KC Walsh, claimed that Marvel Studios "changed the ending" to Wakanda Forever—a claim which remains unconfirmed.
Now, Marvel themselves have offered a new comment ahead of the film's official release later this week.
Letitia Wright's Vaccination Dilemma
A new report from Variety has addressed the previous controversy surrounding Shuri star Letitia Wright and the actresses' view on COVID-19 vaccinations.
In an interview, actress Angela Bassett noted that she never heard the star discuss vaccines during the production. Marvel Studios exec Nate Moore also added that he never asked about her status and that he still doesn't know.
Moore elaborated, noting how it was "not a question we asked anybody, to be quite honest:"
“It’s not a question we asked of anybody, to be quite honest. She never talked about her views either way. We read the stories that I would argue were unfair because I don’t know where they’re coming from. As someone who literally is on set next to the monitor all the time, I feel like I would have heard it.”
In a separate interview with Letitia Wright, the outlet was unable to get further comments regarding the topic. Once during a discussion, her publicist interrupted an attempt to ask, and when Variety was directed to ask over email, "schedule changes" prevented Wright from answering any inquiries.
Moore went on to reference the actress' previous on-set accident, pointing out how it was that' "injury was the thing that cost us:"
“She only ever was the utmost professional and a joy to have around... she didn’t cost us a moment. I mean, her injury was the thing that cost us, and that was no fault of her own.”
The Touchy Vaccine Subject
If there were truth to the Letitia Wright vaccine drama, Marvel Studios wouldn't go around touting it. In fact, the company's most likely move would be to lie about it—in a similar nature to Andrew Garfield denying his involvement in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
When COVID vaccines and boosters became widely available, nearly all union film productions required their crew to be both vaccinated and boosted—alongside taking consistent PCR tests, sometimes even alongside rapid ones.
In fact, this is something The Hollywood Reporter even backed up. The outlet noted how in 2021, Disney had "[rolled] out a sticker system on all of its new productions in mid-October that require[d] visible proof of COVID-19 vaccination status."
That same report noted that "Disney will require a wristband to identify a fully vaccinated individual."
So, with those requirements known, it's hard to believe that questions regarding vaccine status "[weren't] asked [to] anybody."
As for whether the specifics of all the Letitia Wright drama were true, in any regard, remains unclear. It's likely to stay that way, as it's already surprising Marvel offered the above statement at all.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters worldwide.