Evangeline Lilly is facing backlash from fans and colleagues alike after attending last weekend's anti-vaccination rally in Washington, DC. The actor, best known for roles in Marvel's Ant-Man film series and Avengers: Endgame, subsequently wrote about the experience in an Instagram post that's since been flagged with the platform's COVID-19 resource banner.
The MCU star, whose comments flouting COVID safety regulations like social distancing were criticized at the pandemic's outset two years ago, claimed immunizations against the disease that has killed millions of people worldwide since 2020 are "not the way" in her social media caption.
"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," Evangeline wrote, after confirming she "was in DC this weekend to support bodily sovereignty," which is how anti-vax advocates describe opposition to COVID vaccination mandates.
The DC protest made headlines, attracting a crowd of thousands of maskless people from across the country, some of whom chanted pro-Trump slogans.
Echoing folks on social media — who called out Evangeline for her involvement in the rally and pointed to experts' overwhelming assertion that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in reducing community transmission as well as risks of serious illness — some of her MCU colleagues, such as her Ant-Man costar David Dastmalchian, appeared to respond to her post on Twitter.
"It's so unfortunate when people with a large platform use that platform to share irresponsible things," he tweeted.
Simu Liu, who played the titular superhero in Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, also seemed to reference the controversy in a tweet that highlighted the dangers of not being vaccinated, based on his own experience.
"I lost my grandparents to COVID last year. They were still waiting for their vaccines. I'm fortunate to have been double-vaccinated and boosted when I got COVID 2 weeks ago. Felt like a cold," he wrote. "The media needs to stop spotlighting opinions that are not rooted in facts or science."
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, and why getting yours is so important, visit the CDC's website.
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