The Hollywood Reporter reports that Ice Cube, real name O’Shea Jackson, was asked to get vaccinated by the movie’s producers but refused and subsequently left the production, leaving behind the $9 million fee he was set to be paid.
In a nutshell
The report states that Ice Cube will no longer be part of Sony’s comedy Oh Hell No after turning down a request from the film’s producers to be vaccinated.
Oh Hell No was set to star both Ice Cube and Jack Black but a replacement is now being sought for the former.
No official comment was made by the parties involved but it’s understood that the project’s producers, Black and Matt Tolmach, had asked the cast to ensure they’d been vaccinated against Covid-19.
The production of Oh Hell No was set to begin this winter in Hawaii after being pushed back following an injury to Black, who is still expected to star in the film.
The same Hollywood Reporter report highlights that Oh Hell No is the second movie that Ice Cube has left during the pandemic. He was originally due to feature in boxing film Flint Strong, the production of which started at the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The circumstances of that departure remain unknown.
Ice Cube appeared to be an advocate of mask-wearing after the outbreak of Covid-19 and even donated 2,000 face masks to Oklahoma’s Bacone College earlier this year. The 52-year-old also designed a line of custom ‘Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self’ T-shirts and pledged to donate the proceeds to hospitals battling the coronavirus.
However, Ice Cube’s views on the pandemic appeared to teeter on the conspiratorial at times, having tweeted in summer 2020: “Doctors of the world: Stop lying about the Coronavirus. The people needs absolute TRUTH.”
In July of this year, a statement was released jointly by guilds and studios in Hollywood letting producers know that they had “the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis.”
Hollywood is not the only industry that’s experiencing problems with individuals’ reluctance to be vaccinated and it’s unlikely that Ice Cube will be the last actor to leave a production for declining a vaccine. But he’s arguably the most high-profile to date.