Letitia Wright is one of the stars in the new, excellent Small Axe film anthology which has set her up for a pretty solid 2020. But on Thursday, she shared a bizarre anti-vaccine video from Light London Church senior leader and speaker Tomi Arayomi. In the 69-minute video, Arayomi casts doubts on everything from the COVID-19 vaccine to climate change.
“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,” Arayomi said.
At first, Wright defended herself against the backlash, tweeting “if you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled.” But later, she deleted the tweet and offered an explanation, though not exactly an apology or backtrack.
my 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.
— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) December 4, 2020
Typically, when an MCU star steps in it online, other Avengers actors race to their defense. That didn’t exactly happen this time. Don Cheadle defended Wright herself but called the video “hot garbage.”
On Facebook, Arayomi accused critics of silencing him. “I didn’t know free speech was a crime in this Country,” he wrote. “I didn’t know black lives only matter as long as they agreed with the mainstream orthodoxy.”
Last time I checked, we lived in the Western world, I had no idea that we would wake up in some Orwellian nightmare where discourse gets you cancelled from youtube and blasted in the mainstream media. I wake up today in the Western World, or so I’m told! I wake up in a world where mindless news organisations act like echo chambered talking heads. I’ve woken up in Stalins dream world. A commercial democracy! The Truman Show!
Wright did not discuss vaccinations in her conversation with RELEVANT for our Nov/Dec issue. She has been bold and outspoken about her faith and a rare bright spot in the celebrity coverage beat. Like Cheadle said, there’s no reason to “cancel” an actor for sharing a bad video. But being a celebrity is a responsibility and having a platform does come with accountability to be smart about how you use it. Hopefully Wright takes this experience as a good lesson on how not just to be bold, but also wise.