Alexander Larman has written an interesting piece for the U.S. version of the Spectator about the vaccine scepticism of actors such as Evangeline Lilly. Here’s an excerpt:
Lilly has enjoyed a successful career in films such as The Hobbit and in shows including Lost, and her appearances in the Ant-Man pictures were, until the advent of Covid, entirely uncontroversial. Yet the spread of the illness became a major preoccupation for her. On March 16th, 2020, she posted on Instagram that she refused to self-isolate and described her life as “business as usual”. Clearly under pressure, she subsequently retracted her statement, saying, “Despite my intense trepidation over the socioeconomic and political repercussions of this course of action, PLEASE KNOW I AM DOING MY PART TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAYING HOME WITH MY FAMILY.” She added that “the world is rallying to find a way to stop this very real threat, and my ensuing silence has sent a dismissive, arrogant and cryptic message”.
If that had been the end of it, the matter would have been forgotten by now. But Lilly affirmed her anti-vaxxer credentials last year when she attended a march in Washington in support of “bodily sovereignty” and once again made her views clear on social media. She stated, “I believe nobody should ever be forced to inject their body with anything, against their will, under threat of violent attack, arrest or detention without trial, loss of employment, homelessness, starvation, loss of education, alienation from loved ones, excommunication from society… under any threat whatsoever.” She concluded, “I understand the world is in fear, but I don’t believe that answering fear with force will fix our problems. I was pro-choice before Covid and I am still pro-choice today.”
If Lilly was an isolated example, Marvel might be able to ignore the situation. But unfortunately they and other studios have similar sceptics in their ranks. Letitia Wright, star of the most recent Black Panther film, shared an anti-vaxxing video on Twitter in 2021, declaring that “if you don’t conform to popular opinions, but ask questions and think for yourself… you get cancelled”.
Not to be outdone, DC Studios have their own problem with Zachary Levi, star of Shazam, who has stated that he is in “hardcore agreement” with those who have suggested that the Pfizer Corporation is “a real danger to the world”.
Larman goes on to point out that with cancel culture losing some of its power, it may be harder for corporate bosses to keep Hollywood actors in line.
Worth reading in full.
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