Evangeline Lilly is at it again.
In a recent Instagram post, the Lost and Ant-Man and the Wasp actress said she traveled to Washington, D.C. this weekend to speak out in support of “medical sovereignty”—in other words, to protest vaccine mandates. Lilly attended the same protest where speaker Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a notorious anti-vaxxer, compared vaccine mandates to the Holocaust.
Lilly wrote Thursday that she believes “nobody should ever be forced to inject their body with anything, against their will” under threats including “violent attack,” “arrest or detention without trial,” homelessness and starvation, and “excommunication from society.” (Note: Nobody is forcing anyone to get the vaccine, and these threats are not real.)
“This is not the way,” she wrote. “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.”
It’s unclear what Lilly’s vaccination status is; her post includes a photo of someone with a sign that reads “Vaxxed Democrat for medical freedom.” That said, her post carries a whole host of misleading implications. Vaccine mandates remain divisive among the public but no politician or official has called for punishing anyone who declines the vaccine. And as popular as the co-opting of “my body, my choice” rhetoric might be among anti-vaxxers, the parallels are questionable at best.
This is not, however, the first time Lilly has aired her dangerous views on COVID for the public. As the pandemic intensified within the U.S. in March 2020, the actress revealed that she had refused to self-quarantine despite living with her cancer-stricken father. She compared COVID-19 to a “respiratory flu” and accused the government of overreach comparable to “Marshall Law” [sic]. “There’s ‘something’ every election year,” she wrote.
Days later the actress posted an apology.
“I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology for the insensitivity I showed in my previous post to the very real suffering and fear that has gripped the world through COVID19,” Lilly wrote, in part. “ 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.”
Lilly’s comments new and old have sparked comparisons to Black Panther actress Letitia Wright, who landed herself in hot water in 2020 by sharing a conspiracy theory video on Twitter that questioned the safety of potential COVID-19 vaccines. Last October, the actress denied a Hollywood Reporter dispatch that claimed she had espoused anti-vax views on the set of Black Panther 2, calling the report “completely untrue.” The production resumed in Atlanta in January, with Wright on board.