Letitia Wright criticizes article comparing anti-vaccine uproar to Will Smith, Brad Pitt controversies

Letitia Wright wants to leave the past in the past, pushing back against a report that compares her COVID-19 vaccine Twitter post to the recent scandals of some men in Hollywood.

The "Black Panther" star, 29, took to her Instagram Story Monday to call out an article by The Hollywood Reporter as "incredibly disrespectful" for comparing her vaccination controversy to controversies involving Will Smith and Brad Pitt.

"How dare you. You mentioned my name alongside men who have been accused of abuse & sexual misconduct. This is vile behavior," Wright wrote over a screenshot of the story.

The article questions how scandal could or could not affect actors' chances of getting an Oscar nomination. Wright is a possible contender for her role in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Smith for "Emancipation" and Pitt for "Babylon."

Angelina Jolie accused ex Pitt of assaulting her and two of their children in 2016; Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars earlier this year. Both are mentioned as examples of people whose future with the Academy could be in jeopardy.

Letitia Wright criticized comparisons between her and Will Smith and Brad Pitt.
Letitia Wright criticized comparisons between her and Will Smith and Brad Pitt.

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The article, written by Scott Feinberg, also names Roman Polanski, Woody Allen and Casey Affleck as examples of men whose sexual assault or misconduct allegations did not hinder their Oscar nominations, in contrast to actor-director Nate Parker who was also accused of sexual assault and later acquitted at trial.

USA TODAY has reached out to the article's author for comment. In a statement provided to USA TODAY Tuesday, THR Editor-In-Chief Nekesa Mumbi Moody said "the intent was not to equate Letitia Wright's situation with others mentioned in the article."

Brad Pitt accused of assaulting Angelina Jolie, children during 2016 flight

Pitt was accused by Jolie of assaulting her and their children during a 2016 flight in a lawsuit filed Oct. 4 by the actress's lawyers in the former couple's legal battle over their French winery. Jolie alleged in the suit that Pitt choked one of their children and hit another during the private jet flight, which occurred five days before Jolie filed for divorce.

The allegations of abuse on the plane first became public shortly after the flight, but reports were initially vague and details were kept sealed in divorce documents and reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, both of which found no action against Pitt necessary. Pitt has never been charged in relation to the alleged incident.

In the filing, Jolie's lawyers allege Pitt "grabbed Jolie by the head and shook her, and then grabbed her shoulders and shook her again before pushing her into the bathroom wall." Pitt’s lawyer said Oct. 6 that he will continue to respond in court to Jolie's allegations of abuse, saying he has taken responsibility for his actual actions but not aspects of her story that are not true.

Angelina Jolie alleges Brad Pitt'choked' one of their kids, 'struck another in the face'

Will Smith banned from the Oscars after slapping Chris Rock onstage

Smith found himself in hot water with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after slapping presenter Rock during Oscars night on March 27. As Rock was preparing to present the award for best documentary feature, the comedian made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith, saying that he couldn't wait to see her star in "G.I. Jane 2," referencing the shaved head Pinkett Smith has due to alopecia. Smith responded by approaching the stage and slapping Rock.

Smith apologized to Rock and the Academy in an Instagram post on March 28, calling his behavior "unacceptable and inexcusable."

Nearly two weeks after the ceremony and a week after Smith formally resigned from the group, the Board of Governors banned Smith from Academy events, including the Oscars, for 10 years.

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What was Letitia Wright's COVID-19 vaccine controversy?

In 2020, Wright posted a video on her since-deleted Twitter account that questioned whether people should take a COVID-19 vaccine when it became available.

In the hourlong video, from the YouTube channel "On the Table," the host says he doesn't know if he's going to take the vaccine.

When one fan tweeted that Wright was upsetting people, she responded, "not my intention to make anyone upset. Nor am I saying don’t take it. I’m just concerned about what’s in it that’s all. Isn’t that fair to question or ask?"

Wright later tweeted about the backlash, saying "if you don't conform to popular opinions" and "think for yourself," you get canceled.

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The "Wakanda Forever" star recently discussed the controversy in an interview with The Guardian, published Sunday, telling the outlet she has "moved on."

"I've apologized and deleted my Twitter. I just apologized for any hurt that was caused to anybody," Wright said.

When asked by the interviewer if she is now vaccinated, Wright kept mum on the subject, telling The Guardian that she has apologized for the video and moved on from the issue.

'I was out of line': Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock after slapping him at Oscars over joke

Letitia Wright alleges 'personal vendetta' against her in article

In her Instagram Story Monday, Wright called her inclusion in the THR article a "personal vendetta towards me."

"I've remained silent as the world told me to kill myself two years ago for a video I posted and apologized for. I kept my head down and focused on my craft," Wright wrote. "And now I'm at the other side of it."

She added: "I won't remain silent. Stop your disgusting behavior."

THR Editor-In-Chief Moody said she appreciates "the feedback and dialogue surrounding" the article and went on to praise Wright.

"We have featured Letitia on our cover and cited her great talent in reviews and look forward to continuing to chronicle her career," Moody said.

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Contributing: Edward Segarra, Charles Trepany and Elise Brisco, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Letitia Wright slams article comparing her to Will Smith, Brad Pitt