SEXUAL ABUSE: Letitia Wright slams The Hollywood Reporter after they grouped her in an article with names like Brad Pitt, Woody Allen and Casey Affleck KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

SEXUAL ABUSE: Letitia Wright slams The Hollywood Reporter after they grouped her in an article with names like Brad Pitt, Woody Allen and Casey Affleck

Letitia Wright slams The Hollywood Reporter after they grouped her in an article with names like Brad Pitt, Woody Allen and Casey Affleck. (Read More Here).

“You mentioned my name alongside men who have been accused of abuse & sexual misconduct. This is vile behavior.”

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.

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.

And Oscar winners have included Casey Affleck, best actor for Manchester by the Sea in 2017, after facing — and settling — lawsuits from two women who alleged that he sexually harassed them in 2009; Gary Oldman, best actor for Darkest Hour in 2018, despite a 2001 abuse accusation by his ex-wife (police investigated the accusations, which Oldman always denied, and didn’t press charges); Kobe Bryant, best animated short winner for Dear Basketball in 2018, in spite of being charged with sexual assault in 2003 (the case was dropped, and he and the accuser settled a lawsuit); and Nick Vallelonga, best picture and original screenplay winner for Green Book in 2019, even though he falsely claimed in a 2015 tweet that he’d seen Muslim Americans celebrating on Sept. 11, 2001.

Others accused of improper behavior were less warmly embraced. Nate Parker’s prospects for directing and acting noms for 2016’s The Birth of a Nation evaporated after renewed focus was placed upon a 1999 case in which he was charged with — but ultimately acquitted of — rape by a woman who later killed herself. And director Bryan Singer, who was accused of sexually preying upon underage boys (allegations that he has denied), was the one major contributor to 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody who wasn’t nominated.

Obviously, not all accusations are equally serious or solid — but is history a guide for what may happen for Smith, Pitt and Wright?

Others accused of improper behavior were less warmly embraced. Nate Parker’s prospects for directing and acting noms for 2016’s The Birth of a Nation evaporated after renewed focus was placed upon a 1999 case in which he was charged with — but ultimately acquitted of — rape by a woman who later killed herself. And director Bryan Singer, who was accused of sexually preying upon underage boys (allegations that he has denied), was the one major contributor to 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody who wasn’t nominated.

Obviously, not all accusations are equally serious or solid — but is history a guide for what may happen for Smith, Pitt and Wright?

Black Panther 2 is currently in the midst of a successful run at the box office, with the film outpacing other super-powered epics from this fall. But it was not at all smooth sailing for the MCU blockbuster to get here. 

Not only did the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel have to deal with the death of franchise star Chadwick Boseman, but also became swept in controversy after its star posted a video promoting anti-vax and potentially hateful sentiments online. 

Wright has since apologized for her actions, saying she has "moved on" and is sorry "for any hurt" he may have caused. This recent acknowledgment from the actress is the first time she has directly addressed/said sorry for potentially promoting these thoughts, having largely dismissed it any time it came up.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's Letitia Wright snapped at The Hollywood Reporter (THR) in her Instagram Stories after the outlet published a story discussing how Wright's anti-vax controversy will hurt her awards chances for her Wakanda Forever performance.

Wright posted a screen grab of THR's headline, written by Scott Feinberg ("How Personal Baggage Will Impact Oscar Chances") with a lengthy caption alongside it, saying that THR has "a personal vendetta towards [her]," after the outlet heavily reported on the actress' supposed anti-vax sentiments late last year.

"And then there’s Wright. As COVID has somewhat subsided, so too has the intensity of anger toward those who resisted or questioned safety measures, so she may face the least resistance — but she may also have the weakest case for a nomination anyway," writer Scott Feinberg said in the article.

Letitia took to her Instagram Stories on Monday night to respond to the article.

"I had to unblock The Hollywood Reporter just to post this. Scott Feinberg and all at this publication. You're all incredible disrespectful. How dare you," she began the post, which included a screencap of the article in question.

She continued, "You mentioned my name alongside men who have been accused of abuse and sexual misconduct. 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. I apologized TWO years ago. Remained silent on the topic. You lied and said I continued talking about it with my cast and crew on my set. THIS WAS NOT TRUE. ASK MY PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR. The film is successful. Your agenda towards me is now even more clear. I won't remain silent. Stop your disgusting behavior."your disgusting behavior."

Letitia wrote another post aimed at the writer.

"Scott Feinberg. This personal agenda with your friends at The Hollywood Reporter is disgusting," she said. "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. And now I'm at the other side of it. Here you are, as a so called journalist we are meant to trust, putting my name into this nasty article for what? You lack substance, you clearly have nothing to report."

"The movie is beautiful, impactful and breaking box office. I worked my ass of with my cast and crew to dedicate it to my Brother. How dare you," Letitia added. "Did my performance rattle you that much? It was that excellent huh? I'm still here, still making impact, still creating projects that touch peoples hearts and it's not going to stop. Get a life, like for real."

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