The iconic rapper and actor known as Ice Cube – aka O’Shea Jackson, Sr. – walked away from a reported $9 million dollars after he reportedly refused to accept a vaccine mandate.
Jackson was set to star opposite comedy favorite Jack Black in a film currently titled Oh Hell No. It looks like the legendary entertainer said exactly that to Sony when he was informed he would have to be vaccinated in order to join the set. The film is slated to begin production in Hawaii sometime this winter.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
Sony had no comment. A personal representative for the star declined to comment. WME, his agency, declined to comment. Oh Hell No is being produced by Matt Tolmach and Black, who both did not offer a comment.
Ice Cube and Black partnered on the project in June. The Sony film was looking to shoot this winter in Hawaii with Kitao Sakurai, the filmmaker behind Netflix’s breakout comedy Bad Trip, in the director’s seat. Producers on Oh Hell No made the request that cast on the project would need to be vaccinated.
This is the second film Jackson has walked away from in recent months. He also quietly exited an upcoming boxing film called Flint Strong and while there is no public word as to why, it isn’t hard to imagine that he had been asked to get a COVID vaccine on that production too.
The Hollywood Reporter did go to great pains to note that Jackson has been very pro-mask and pro-mitigation efforts up to this point. I guess they don’t want to make a big deal out of this “anti-vaxxer” since he doesn’t fit the profile they prefer to believe encompasses the vaccine hesitant.
Throughout the pandemic, Ice Cube has promoted mask-wearing. In August, Bacone College in Oklahoma thanked the star and others for a donation of 2,000 face masks to use as personal protective equipment. In April 2020, amid COVID-19 lockdowns, he 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, with proceeds to benefit frontline health workers.
Production companies and unions have agreed to take each production and ensuing mandates on a case-by-case basis.