Rapper and actor Ice Cube has faced backlash over a ride-along interview he gave to former Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, a peddler of racist conspiracy theories and white supremacist talking points.
Carlson and Ice Cube, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson, talked about not taking the coronavirus vaccine — which has been administered safely and effectively to billions of people worldwide — during a lengthy conversation for Carlson’s show on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The pair rode around south-central Los Angeles in the first video. The second part was conducted in a studio.
Ice Cube discussed leaving the production of the film “Oh Hell No” — and missing out on a $9 million paycheck — after refusing the COVID-19 shot that cast members were required to receive.
“Yeah, I’m not real good with direct orders,” the former N.W.A. rap group member told Carlson. “It wasn’t ready. You know, it was a six-month kind of rush job and I didn’t feel safe.” On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 vaccines are “safe and effective” and “continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.”
“No, it wasn’t a tough call,” Ice Cube claimed. “I wanted to be an example for my kids, really make sure they wouldn’t take it either, show them that I want to stand on my convictions and that I was willing to lose $9 million and more, because we’ve probably lost more since then.”
Ice Cube later pointed out that he’d “never told anyone not to get vaccinated” and actually hadn’t wanted people to know he hadn’t. “I was pretty upset that that even came out, because I was just gonna quietly, you know, just not take it and deal with the consequences as they came,” he said.
The entertainer also claimed he knew someone who had suffered “every day” after taking the shot, but didn’t elaborate.
The CDC says “adverse events” from taking the vaccine are “rare,” “do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem” and “the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.”
When Ice Cube asked if Carlson had received the vaccine, Carlson replied: “Of course not.”
The anti-vaccine comments, and Ice Cube’s decision to talk with Carlson in the first place, drew criticism: