Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Tenoch Huerta accused of sexual assault [Updated]

The musician and activist María Elena Ríos accused Black Panther actor Tenoch Huerta of assault in a Twitter thread shared on Saturday

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Tenoch Huerta accused of sexual assault [Updated]
Tenoch Huerta Photo: Mike Coppola

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Tenoch Huerta has been accused of sexual assault. In a series of tweets posted on Saturday, the musician and activist María Elena Ríos referred to Huerta as a “violator and sexual predator” and accused him of assaulting her. The A.V. Club has reached out to Ríos for comment.

Ríos raised the allegations in a thread that also condemned activist organization Poder Prieto for protecting Huerta, after the organization—a collective of actors and media figures standing against racism in the entertainment industry—shared an episode of the podcast “El Feisbuk de la Malinche” featuring Ríos. Ríos, a former member of Poder Prieto, alleged that the group aired the podcast without her consent, and also never compensated her for her work. (Poder Prieto did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The A.V. Club.)

After Poder Prieto responded with its own defense, arguing that they did not actually air the episode and only promoted it, Ríos accused the organization of protecting Huerta, one of its spokespeople. When one Twitter user asked Ríos if Huerta had assaulted her, Ríos responded in the affirmative.

“It is very difficult to talk about the emotional abuse and abuse of power of a sexual predator who is loved in the world for playing a character in a movie like Tenoch Huerta,” Ríos also tweeted on Saturday, tagging the actor. Huerta’s portrayal of antagonist and King of Atlantis Namor in Wakanda Forever has seen the actor heralded for furthering the spectrum of representation available onscreen for dark-skinned Indigenous people; he has also starred in The Forever Purge and Narcos: Mexico.

Read Ríos’ thread, originally shared in Spanish, below:

[Update June 12, 12:53 pm]: In an email sent to The A.V. Club, Huerta’s publicist shared the following statement:

A false and completely unsubstantiated accusation about me has spread like wildfire – and I cannot let it go unchallenged any longer.

About a year ago, I dated Elena for several months. It was entirely consensual at all times, as countless others can attest. And throughout 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.

As a result, a few months ago, I 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.

Although I am by no means perfect, I know that these allegations are simply untrue. And while I will always work to improve myself, I need to contest claims that are both false and offensive.

I am deeply grateful to my family and the people who have supported me and greatly appreciate everyone who is willing to look at the facts and reflect before rushing to an untrue and unjust conclusion.

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