Basic vaccine mandates for children to go attend public school, enter the military, or travel to certain countries, are as old and common as the day is long. Still, the politicized furor over Covid-19 vaccine mandates continues to make headlines. Hollywood is generally in the pro-vaccine camp—people want to work and be safe—so common sense says get vaccinated. Some actors have taken every precaution available: Sean Penn recently refused to appear on the “Gaslit” set until the entire cast and crew agreed to be vaccinated, only returning to the shoot after a compromise was made. Still, disinformation, skepticism, and paranoia are still steering people in the wrong direction.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned of an actor refusing to get vaccinated altogether, and losing out on a massive windfall as a result. Rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube (“21 Jump Street“), mostly known for comedic roles these days, has exited the Sony Pictures film “Oh Hell No” when he decided not to get the vaccine. The big kicker, Cube, would have earned $9 million on the project, losing out on a huge payday.
Kitao Sakurai, the director of the fantastic Netflix comedy “Bad Trip,” is set to helm the film. Cube would have co-starred with Jack Black, and production was supposed to begin in Hawaii this winter. Sony is said to be looking to find a replacement. “Oh Hell No,” centers on two friends, Sherman and Will, and the mayhem that erupts when Sherman falls in love with Will’s mother.
The move is seemingly an about-face for the controversial rapper/actor who has espoused anti-Semitic views in the past and then backed Trump shortly before the 2020 election. Throughout the pandemic, Cube has promoted mask-wearing. Just recently, Bacone College in Oklahoma thanked the rapper and others for a donation of 2,000 face masks to use as personal protective equipment. At the height of the pandemic, Cube unveiled “Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self” branded T-shirts featuring the star in a mask, in partnership with the manufacturer Black Out. Apparently, protecting yourself with masks is ok, but the jab is just a step too far. Regardless, as vaccine mandates become more and more common to keep everyone safe, stars like Cube are going to leave a lot of money on the table and stay at home until they come around if they ever do.