Actor and rapper Ice Cube is apparently so adamant about not getting the COVID vaccine that he’s willing to lose $9 million.
According to sources cited by The Hollywood Reporter, he left the Sony comedy Oh Hell No! after he refused producers’ requests to get vaccinated. The film, which is set to star Jack Black, is scheduled to start production in Hawaii in December. Ice Cube was set to receive a $9 million payout for the production.
The departure is the second film the actor has left since the start of the pandemic, withdrawing from a boxing film that had only shot a day of film before COVID-19 put a pause on Hollywood.
Ice Cube, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson, had been a vocal supporter of masking throughout the pandemic. During the height of the Delta variant wave in August, he donated 2,000 face masks to a college in Oklahoma. He also sold shirts encouraging mask-wearing in April 2020, shortly after the pandemic started.
But some of his tweets offered a mixed view on the seriousness of the virus. In early June last year, he tweeted that doctors should “stop lying about the Coronavirus,” saying the world needs “the absolute TRUTH.” Days later, he tweeted a photo of the “CUE” for the virus, which featured a mocked-up album cover of someone getting a substance implanted through a needle with “Lethal Injection” over the photo.
Ice Cube declined to comment to The Hollywood Reporter on the allegation.
The actor is one of a number of Hollywood stars and prominent figures who have refused to get vaccinated, despite employers, studios and productions mandating their stars get the shot.
Miles Teller allegedly cost The Offer, a Paramount+ series depicting the making of The Godfather, $6 million in production costs after he refused to get vaccinated and then contracted the virus, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Letitia Wright, who is set to continue her role as Shuri in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has also reportedly spread anti-vaccine comments on the set of the sequel—months after she deleted her Twitter over backlash to anti-vaccine sentiments. She took to Instagram earlier this month to address the report, though she did not provide any specifics.
A small handful of journalists and news presenters have also quit their jobs instead of getting a jab, including ESPN reporter Allison Williams, who cited fears of the vaccine’s impact on fertility. There is no evidence to back those fears. ESPN presenter Sage Steele was benched, in part, over anti-vaxxer comments.