Tenoch Huerta, known for his role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has withdrawn from an upcoming Netflix film, Fiesta en la Madriguera. The movie, announced by Netflix in May and scheduled to commence filming this month, will now proceed without Huerta. This decision follows recent allegations of sexual assault made against him by musician and women’s rights activist María Elena Ríos.
Ríos took to social media earlier this month to publicly accuse Huerta of sexual assault, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse, referring to him as a “sexual predator.”
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Furthermore, she accused Poder Prieto, an anti-racist activist organization for which Huerta acts as a spokesperson, of shielding the actor.
“Given the impact of the recent false statements by María Elena Ríos and the damage they have caused, I have no choice but to withdraw from participating in the film Fiesta en la Madriguera,” stated Huerta. “It is with great sadness that I do this, but I cannot allow her actions to harm not only me, but also the work of dozens of talented and hard-working people involved in the project. My focus now is simple: continue the process of restoring my reputation.”
Ríos wrote in her social media posts, “It’s very difficult to speak about emotional abuse and abuse by a sexual predator who is loved by the world for playing a character in a movie like Tenoch Huerta. He appears charming, which is a characteristic of a narcissist and a good deal of victimization.”
“Why am I late in talking about it? Because I have my process,” Ríos later states. “Why didn’t I report? Because I was afraid that this would happen: people who refuse to believe that a SUPER HERO is an abuser, manipulator and sexual predator.”
Earlier this week, the actor released a statement admitting that he was in a relationship with Ríos, but “it was entirely consensual at all time” stating “it was a loving, warm and mutually supportive relationship. After it ended, however, Elena began to misrepresent our interactions both privately and in front of groups of mutual friends.”
Huerta further stated that he has “engaged a legal team to commence the appropriate actions to protect my reputation and refute these irresponsible and false accusations that can cause great prejudice and damage.”
It is uncertain if Huerta will reprise his role as Namor in a future Marvel Cinematic Universe film. Prior to these accusations, there were rumors that Namor might appear in the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
“You know, people who read the comics know that there’s 80 years of stories with Namor that we can tap into,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in an interview earlier this year. “So, where and when, we’ll keep to ourselves for now. But, we think that this is an incredibly iconic character that’s being introduced. Probably, to most people, most movie-goers for the first time. And we expect them to want to see more.”
Netflix’s brand new series, El Elegido (The Chosen One), is set to be released in August and will feature Huerta alongside Dianna Agron and Bobby Luhnow. The series was previewed at the Tudum global fan festival.