Big changes are afoot in Hollywood as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many actors might not stick around if they refuse to comply with new protocols. The latest actor rumored to exit long-running projects due to their lack of compliance is Letitia Wright. The Guyanese-born British actress reportedly refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
As of Nov. 8, studios throughout Hollywood have begun enforcing vaccine requirements for anyone in Zone A — basically most crew members and actors on any Hollywood set.
Marvel, which is owned by Disney, must comply with Disney’s vaccine mandate, which was set in July 2021. Letitia, however, has been outspoken about not getting the COVID-19 vaccine. So, is she leaving the MCU?
Letitia Wright plays T’Challa’s sister in the ‘Black Panther’ franchise.
Between the untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman and the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Panther 2 is full of its own obstacles. In the first film, Letitia Wright plays T’Challa’s sister and Wakandan royalty/genius, Shuri.
Shuri saves the day throughout Black Panther and later Avengers films, so we definitely don’t want to see the character leave the franchise. Not only that, but because of Chadwick’s absence from future films, many expected Letitia to play an even larger role moving forward.
It’s been all but confirmed that Letitia Wright will be leaving the MCU.
Disney’s vaccine mandate didn’t apply to the already-underway Black Panther 2 when it was announced in 2021, when production had to halt filming. However, protocols may have since changed as far as the new restrictions on set. In an unfortunate accident, a serious injury befell Letitia on the set of Black Panther 2 in August, and she still has yet to return to set.
In late 2020, Letitia shared a video on social media of someone criticizing the vaccine, in which they said that people would have to hope it doesn’t “make extra limbs grow.” After lots of criticism from fans, Letitia clarified that she’s not against vaccines but thinks it’s “important to ask questions,” and has since taken the video down.
Reports claimed that Letitia also shared anti-vaccine sentiment on the set of Black Panther 2, but in Oct. 2021, she came forward to assert that those reports were “completely untrue.” Despite this, sources close to the MCU have confirmed that Letitia doesn’t want to return to the MCU because she doesn’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to media outlet Giant Freakin Robot.
It may not be possible for Letitia to continue filming ‘Black Panther 2’ if she remains unvaccinated.
Even if she wanted to return, or if Disney made an exception for Letitia because filming began before their vaccine mandate went into effect, it might not be possible for Letitia to continue as Shuri. After her accident on set, which reportedly involved some stunt equipment, Letitia went back to the United Kingdom to recover.
Although Black Panther 2 is set to return to filming in 2022, because of travel restrictions to the United States from the United Kingdom, Letitia may not be able to take part in the rest of the movie. All travelers to the U.S. need to prove they’re vaccinated, and if Letitia does not want to get vaccinated, then she won’t be able to return to the Black Panther 2 set.
This wouldn’t be the first time an actor is leaving their role due to COVID-19 protocol. Rockmond Dunbar from 9-1-1, Steve Burton and Ingo Rademacher from General Hospital, and even Ice Cube have left and turned down projects due to vaccine restrictions. Letitia may be the first actor in the MCU to make this call, and hopefully she’s the last.