Letitia Wright slams a Hollywood Reporter article comparing her to abusers

In December 2020, Letitia Wright came close to talking herself out of a job. She started talking about a lot of anti-vaxx nonsense and she got so much sh-t for it, she ended up deleting her social media accounts. Then in 2021, we heard rumors that Wright had also espoused anti-vaxx views on the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. There were also rumors she refused to get vaccinated to work in America, but she eventually did finish WF, clearly. Over the past month, Wright managed to get through the Wakanda Forever promotion without saying much of anything about vaccines and everyone just kind of ignored the stories from 2020 and 2021.

Enter Scott Feinberg at the Hollywood Reporter, who wrote a commentary piece this week called “How Personal Baggage Will Impact Oscar Chances.” Let me tell you, that headline does NOT prepare you for the celebrities Feinberg identifies as carrying “personal baggage.”

Fairly or not, three of awards season’s acting contenders might be judged on more than just their performances.

On March 27, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, refused to leave the ceremony, accepted the award for best actor and then went out partying, sparking a tremendous uproar that led Smith to resign from the Academy and the organization’s board to ban him from its events for a decade (he remains eligible for Oscar recognition). Smith has since apologized to Rock multiple times, and Apple decided to move up from 2023 to December 2022 the release of a movie Smith produced and stars in, Emancipation, clearly hoping for awards recognition.

Brad Pitt was accused by ex-wife Angelina Jolie, in legal papers filed Oct. 4 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, of physically assaulting her and two of their children in 2016, when they were still married, on a private flight from France to California. That prompted the FBI to look into the allegations (Jolie says the agency “concluded that the government had probable cause to charge Pitt with a federal crime,” though the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to) and Jolie to file for divorce. Pitt’s latest movie, Babylon, in which he plays a key supporting role, will be released Dec. 23 by Paramount.

Then there’s Letitia Wright, the lead actress in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which Disney released Nov. 11. While hers is far from the magnitude of baggage held by Smith or Pitt, she did endure a fair share of bad publicity when she retweeted an anti-vax conspiracy video in December 2020 and then reportedly promoted anti-vax views on the set of the film. (She denies the latter.) Backlash became so strong that some fans on social media called for the role to be recast.

Long before this trio’s travails, other Oscar hopefuls brought personal baggage with them on the awards campaign trail, too. Filmmakers Roman Polanski and Woody Allen were accused of sexual impropriety — Polanski pleaded guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old and then fled the country while awaiting sentencing in 1978; Allen was accused of child molestation by his adopted daughter in 1992 but was never prosecuted — and both subsequently won Oscars, the former best director for The Pianist in 2003 and the latter best original screenplay for Midnight in Paris in 2012. More recently, Mel Gibson, who went on an antisemitic rant during a 2006 DUI arrest and was accused by his partner of domestic abuse in 2010 (ultimately pleading no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge), was nominated for directing Hacksaw Ridge in 2017.

[From THR]

This is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever read. While I thought Letitia’s anti-vaxx sh-t was stupid, putting her in the same “celebrities with personal baggage” category with Brad Pitt (a credibly accused domestic abuser and child abuser), Roman Polanski (a child rapist), Woody Allen (a credibly accused child molester) and Mel Gibson (a domestic abuser and antisemite) is completely vile. And no, Pitt, Gibson, Polanski and Allen don’t have “personal baggage,” they are either credibly accused abusers or established, convicted abusers and rapists. I’m mad that Will Smith slapping Chris Rock is on this f–king list too, although yes, it was violent.

Letitia responded to THR, writing in part: “You’re all incredibly disrespectful. How dare you… This is vile behavior. At this point a personal vendetta towards me. I’ve done nothing wrong but respectfully refused to do interviews with this publication. Stop your nonsense.” She also wrote: “I apologised TWO years ago. Remained silent on the topic. You lied and said I continued talking about it with my cast & crew on my set. THIS WAS NOT TRUE. ASK MY PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR. The film was successful. Your agenda towards me is now even more clear. I won’t remain silent. Stop your disgusting behavior.” I completely agree. This THR piece was disgusting.

Photos courtesy of Cat Morley/Avalon and JW/Bang Showbiz/Avalon.

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50 Responses to “Letitia Wright slams a Hollywood Reporter article comparing her to abusers”

  1. Caitlin Bruce says:

    i have no time for anti-vaxxers but she’s completely right. To put her in this category with these awful abusive men is down right disgusting and i don’t think would happen if it was a white women with the same views.

  2. Ameerah M says:

    Scott Feinberg is terrible. He has a long history of writing problematic things. He blocked me on Twitter some years ago for calling him out on this. His ire always seems to be directed at Black women and men in Hollywood.

    • brubs says:

      absolutely! I used to follow him, but he says so many stupid things that I just couldn’t handle anymore. But he is very well connected, so very few people call him on his bullshit

    • Detnow359 says:

      Clearly he is racist and I’m glad she called him out. She was nearly killed on the set of Wakanda Forever, and I suspect is still dealing with the physical and emotional toll, yet he wants to talk about the vaxx situation. Bringing her and Will into the same convo as child rapists and abusers is vile and unnecessary but shows his racist mentality.

  3. Imara219 says:

    As she should have. I’m glad she is standing on their necks and not just taking it. So many times, Black women are taught to be docile in the face of this type of idiocy.

    • AustenGirl1975 says:

      Imara219, I’m not sure whether you were intentionally invoking George Floyd but your use of “standing on their necks” is incredibly powerful phrasing, especially when a young Black woman is being attacked by a white man who has a significant platform.

      • Imara219 says:

        I wanted the AAVE colloquialism to be used as a double entendre. Thank you for grasping the double meaning.

  4. Kokiri says:

    There’s no bottom to the lengths people will travel to take down successful Black women.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    His editor probably told him that there were no women in his piece so he picked the black foreign one. Is Letitia even an Oscar contender?

    • Becks1 says:

      Maybe? I thought she was really good in WF, but I don’t think she’ll get recognized by the academy even as a nominee.

    • Mia4s says:

      “Is Letitia even an Oscar contender?”

      No! Not at all. There’s some talk of Angela Bassett but even that’s a major long shot. The film is doing well but it is not the cultural moment the first Black Panther was. So if she’s not a contender why include her? Why indeed…. 😒

      Also could we save some of the outrage energy for Evangeline Lily when AntMan comes out? Not only anti-vax but spoke in support of the occupiers who terrorized Canada’s capital city last February. She can go to hell to be clear.

    • Louise177 says:

      That was my thought as well. She’s not a contender so why is she even mentioned?

  6. StellainNH says:

    Although I find her anti Vax stance unconscionable, it should not be thrown into the same category as rape and abuse.

    Why isn’t the writer attacking male antivaxxers?

    The patriarchy holds women’s behavior to a much higher standard.

  7. S808 says:

    Wow….yeah she’s right, WTF?

  8. Mia4s says:

    I’m on the record as having no time for her and I continue to hold that view. The video she posted was not only anti-vax but transphobic. I don’t like her at all.

    However, this article is nuts.

    Grouping being an idiot in with being a rapist and abuser is way off base. And frankly minimizes the crimes (CRIMES) committed by men. Also telling? She’s not even in the Oscar conversation; she’s not a factor. I liked the movie fine but….no. There was no reason to even mention her so this was very calculated.

  9. Jais says:

    Take out Letitia and Will and write a much lengthier article about the allegations against brad Pitt. That was a very glossed over mention of his abuse, why not discuss the pouring of beer over his wife and kids and the choking? More words on that which would be easy to do if you hadn’t wasted words putting people in this article that didn’t need to be there.

  10. Becks1 says:

    What a gross comparison to make and I’m glad she made a strong stance against it. There is no comparison between her and Brad Pitt, or Polanski, or Allen.

  11. Steph says:

    I’m going to agree with Letitia. She doesn’t belong next to rapists (stop with the sexual misconduct bs. It’s rape!). It’s gross. Just say you hate her and get on with it.

  12. girl_ninja says:

    Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. As black women we are always othered and seen as sub-human so why not lump us in with men who are known abusers. We can never just BE and enjoy our lives, we are constantly under attack. I’m glad that Letitia called out that bullshit.

    • Steph says:

      You can also see he hates Black women bc he’s comparing her to rapists and abusers to say she can’t win an Oscar even though all of them have.

  13. K8erade says:

    It offends me that no one in Hollywood will call out Brad Pitt at length but let this hot garbage print. This just seems like a way to bring down yet another black woman in Hollywood. We know the Hollywood press corps has no love for black women and we need to talk about that more than we do, if you ask me.

  14. Emmi says:

    Jesus that took a hard turn once he got to her. WTF? Being a dick about something is NOT the same as being accused or convicted of a crime. Or multiple crimes. Holy hell. I would also not put Will Smith on that list but I know people will debate me on that one.

    It is telling though that the only woman on that list is a) a black woman, b) a young black woman, and c) “accused” of something shitty but super tame in comparison. And NOT criminal. So Scotty couldn’t find a woman who’s as awful as all these men. Interesting.

    • Gelya says:

      I won’t debate you. I thought the same thing. I thought WTH is this reporter putting Will Smith & Letitia in the same category as rapists, child abusers and wife abusers. It is disgusting, targeted and racist.

  15. Steph says:

    Why are so many of you dismissing Letitia as an Oscar contender? Her acting was impeccable in Wakanda Forever. She absolutely killed it.

    • Ameerah M says:

      Angela Bassett is the only one having Oscar contender talk about her performance. Letitia did a great job – but Feinberg singled her out to drag her. Nit because of any valid Oscar talk around her performance.

    • Mia4s says:

      The quality of the acting is a tiny piece of the Oscar picture in reality. Good, bad, or “impeccable” acting, the awards narrative is not with her. It’s hard to explain but when you’ve followed enough of these awards seasons you come to see how rare it is for any performer to get nominated without the narrative anointing them early.

      Also given that it’s a comicbook movie that’s a big success but not an astronomical, inescapable one like the first, the old Academy guard will be happy to mostly ignore it.

    • Snoozer says:

      The field for the best actress category this year is already completely stacked and super competitive with extremely prestigious actresses in prestige movies giving powerhouse performances. No way is a part in a comic book movie getting a look-in. It is what it is. Cate Blanchett in Tár, Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans, Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once, Viola Davis in The Woman King, Margot Robbie in Babylon, Danielle Deadwyler in Till, Jennifer Lawrence in Causeway, Florence Pugh in The Wonder… There simply aren’t enough places for all of these incredible performances. Letitia is not going to get nominated, even if she was wonderful.

      • SMS says:

        What a great change after years when it was hard to find enough actresses who even had lead roles. It’s also great to see WOC represented but Latina actresses still aren’t being given roles.

  16. Angie H says:

    She might have a case for slander but has to prove damages. Honestly the damages could well be the implication & coverage that she couldn’t be up for an Oscar & lumping her w abusers. I hope she does sue, honestly. Greatest defense against slander is the truth & so she’d have to build a case re not talking vaxx on set, but boy do I ever hope she does. To think this story made it past at least one editor too means more than one set of eyes was on this story.

  17. FF says:

    She could be recognised, people just don’t want to believe it. They can say odds are against it (at most) but it’s also far from impossible – it’s determined by votes after all. People did this before saying Spider-Verse wouldn’t get considered.

    But the fact that someone felt the need to smear her before that was even at the potential stage – entirely to kill her chances – tells you someone saw the possibility as a threat.

  18. Well Wisher says:

    She is right about about Ryan and Jason.
    Ms. Wright is a talent, who is well received by the people who mattered.
    Earlier this year, she was so surprised at the warm reception she received when she was doing press for another project.

    The Oscar is a prize like showing the best cars of the year.

    This too shall pass.

  19. detritus says:

    Men will frequently position women stepping out of social norms as just as bad as the worst of male behaviour.

    Many anti vaxxers don’t want to be forced to do something to their bodies.
    To be compared to someone who forcibly breaks personal consent is the farthest from where they are.

    • HoofRat says:

      For the record, nobody has ever “forced” anti-vaxxers to do anything with their bodies- they have a choice not to work or enter anyplace that requires vaccination. Women who are being assaulted and abused would like that level of freedom, I’m sure.

      • nedra says:

        yes this country DID try to FORCE vaxx on all of us…but me and my are strong and we will never cave…it is against the law to fire someone over their medical choices. 30 family members said hell no!

    • detritus says:

      Thank you and agreed, just putting the thought process out there.

      I should have made it clearer I don’t support it.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that men and conservatives both do that. If there’s a discussion about toxic masculinity or #Me Too, they have to scream about how women rejecting family values must be ‘toxic femininity’ and need to be equally criticized, or about how queer feminists must be ‘groomers’.

  20. JW says:

    I’m not going to minimize or hand wave how dangerous Letitia Wright’s anti-vax propaganda was. And she was using her platform to spread it. It wasn’t just a personal position. It’s not necessary to defend that, or re-write history about how harmful that was in the midst of a pandemic, how serious those issues remain, the risks she was willing to take with the health of her castmates and crew based on misinformation and bad science, in order to call out the bad faith and misogynoir in Scott Feinberg’s article.

    What she was doing was not abuse. It was not rape, it was not sexual harassment, it was not assault. It was something else, and it shouldn’t have been thrown into the same bucket as though it is apples to apples, or more to the point, as though the headwinds facing an Oscar campaign for someone like a relative newcomer like Letitia Wright and her completely separate isssues have anything to do with the discussions around someone like Brad Pitt or Sean Penn or Roman Polanski and the layers upon layers of Hollywood power protecting them so they can keep doing what they do. She has every right to be angry and to call them out.

  21. K says:

    So what I am getting here is when men rape and abuse they have baggage and when a WOC questioned COVID vaccines (dumb yes) she is comparable with rapists and abusers. F@#% that. I will never agree with an anti vaxxer about COVID but I sure as hell stand by LW for telling THR how sickening this was.

  22. Huma says:

    I’m not an antivaxxer but I have sympathy for them and believe they want to protect their bodies and children. As long as they don’t pretend they are vaxxed to attend gatherings where they wouldn’t be allowed, I’m okay with them. I have known anti vaxxers since long before covid and they are diverse (since I don’t socialize with any white conservative people due to location, none of the anti vaxxers I know are such.) I got the vax and sometimes I worry that something will go wrong with my heart from it , it’s hard to accept but Covid has brought a lot of uncertainty. Isn’t this woman quite young? Let’s not judge her for these beliefs.

    • Lens says:

      I read the article and I believe the problem was he, as THR awards reporter, tried to discuss baggage as it pertains to award hopefuls and who he had was will smith and Brad Pitt for this year. Who both have baggage let’s admit and the article would have been fine with just those two considering academy awards noms and awards have been given to other white men AFTER credible accusations. Such as Roman Polanski, woody Allen, Casey Affleck, Brad Pitt and Mel Gibson. I would have been interested to hear how maybe Hollywood is now turning away from separating superior (for that year) talent from personal behavior like they have in the past. To me nobody is ‘owed’ an academy nomination -it is a privilege not a right and if someone gives what you think is the superior performance it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to award them with anything. It represents a high honor that the recipients should be worthy of. In all ways.

    • nedra says:

      You are extremely intelligent!

  23. Solidgold says:

    Letitia comes off as a right wing religious conspiracy theorist but not an abuser. THR went tabloid but Letitia seems tabloidish too with her theories.

    • nedra says:

      why is it “right wing” “tabloidish” when a person wont be a stick pen guinea pig for the Government by taking cow DNA into their system by way of vaxx? If Stphen Hawking said it was poison, thats all I need to hear. Thank you very much!

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        nedra, Stephen Hawking never said that. He spoke about genetically engineered VIRUSES. He died in 2018 before Covid 19. His worry was a pandemic ending the human race before a nuclear weapon would. The Stephen Hawking Foundation have resources that lays everything out to show that vaccines are safe. Someone you trusted evidently gave you some bad facts (possibly because they believed it.) Please check with the Stephen Hawking Foundation website.

  24. North of Boston says:

    He’s a dope, he also had to walk back a “joke” about HW and She Said’s BO performance this week.

    His opinions and analysis are usually tiresome and slanted, but he is really outdoing his previous low bar ATM.

  25. Joy says:

    Nothing surprising :as a society,we vilify PoCs for much much less than what we let white people (Woody Allen and Roman Polanski have faced ZERO consequences for their crimes) get away with. Letitia’s situation is a controversy not a crime.

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