Evangeline Lilly has never been somebody to hold back from sharing her views. However, her latest comments and actions may be a step too far even for her, as she admits that she attended a controversial rally in Washington D.C. where people demonstrated against vaccine requirements.
Writing in a recent post on her Instagram, Lilly said that she traveled to D.C. this past weekend to attend an event that organizers called “Defeat the Mandates: An American Homecoming.”
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The Lost and Marvel actress stated that she was there to speak out for “medical sovereignty” and that “nobody should ever be forced to inject their body with anything, against their will.” Lilly added that she believes that those who refuse are at risk of “violent attack,” “arrest or detention without trial,” homelessness and starvation, and “excommunication from society.”
This is not the way. This is not safe. This is not healthy. This is not love. 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.
For the record, while vaccine mandates remain controversial and polarizing, no politician has called for punishment for those refusing a vaccine, much less encouraged acts of violence.
Anti-vax protest comes under fire from Jewish advocacy groups
Amongst those who congregated at the National Mall were firefighters, teachers, first responders, and other groups. Speeches were made by controversial doctor Robert Malone and TV producer Del Bigtree, CEO of the anti-vaccination group Informed Consent Action Network.
The most controversial comments came from Robert F. Kennedy Jr, who compared vaccines to the Holocaust and invoked the suffering of Anne Frank just days before Holocaust Memorial Day. Bigtree, meanwhile, promised a “Nuremberg trial” for medical professionals, while some attendees wore a yellow Star of David, comparing themselves to Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities.
In response, the Auschwitz Memorial said the language used was “a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay.”
Evangeline Lilly has been involved in other COVID-19 controversies
This isn’t the first time Lilly has been involved in a controversy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, having refused to self-quarantine back in March of 2020 when it was just getting started. She said on Instagram that she was treating things as “#businessasusual,” and compared the virus to “respiratory flu.” The comments and her refusal to isolate go attention given that she was living with her father, who has stage 4 leukemia. Ten days after she made her initial comments, Lilly made a public apology, saying she had been “dismissive, arrogant and cryptic.”
Grandparents, parents, children, sisters, and brothers are dying, 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… When I wrote that post 10 days ago, I thought I was infusing calm into the hysteria. I can see now that I was projecting my own fears into an already fearful and traumatic situation.
In light of her recent actions, some are questioning the sincerity of Lilly’s original apology.
This issue of celebrity misinformation has been central to the ongoing controversy between Joe Rogan, Spotify, and Neil Young, with social media users calling for a boycott of the streaming service.
Other celebrities who have found themselves in hot water for their opinions and actions regarding COVID-19 include Cardi B, Madonna, Nicki Minaj and Novak Djokovic. Lilly’s case has been compared to that of Black Panther actress Letitia Wright. Wright made headlines in 2020 when she shared a video on Twitter questioning the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, and reports in 2021 suggested she had been sharing anti-vaxxer opinions on the set of Black Panther 2. Wright has denied the claims.