Although it didn’t get much media attention, as it turns out, Sunday’s anti-mandate protest in Washington, D.C., carried some celebrity power.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” star Evangeline Lilly — a model whose acting career took off when she appeared in the beloved TV series “Lost” — attended the “Defeat the Mandates” rally in the nation’s capital and shared about it on her personal Instagram account Thursday.
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“I believe nobody should ever be forced to inject their body with anything, against their will … under any threat whatsoever,” she wrote to her more than two million followers. “This is not the way.”
She went on to assert such strong-arm tactics are “not safe” and “not healthy.”
“This is not love,” the Canadian celebrity continued. “I understand the world is in fear, but I don’t believe that answering fear with force will fix our problems.”
You can read Lilly’s full post below:
The actor, who portrays superhero Hope van Dyne (or The Wasp) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, also said she supports the so-called “Freedom Convoy,” a massive caravan of truckers traveling to Ottawa to voice their opposition to Canadian vaccination edicts put in place by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has condemned the demonstrators as “fringe” for holding “unacceptable views” about government overreach.
“I was in DC this weekend to support bodily sovereignty while Canadian truckers were rallying for their cross-country, peaceful convoy in support of the same thing,” wrote Lilly. “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 her post by stating she “was pro-choice before COVID” and remains so now.
This is not the first time Lilly has spoken out about the state of our society in the age of COVID-19. In March 2020, when government restrictions were first enacted, she took to Instagram Live to discuss valuing “freedom” above perceived safety.
At the time, she revealed she was taking her children to a gymnastics camp, noting they were mindful of the pandemic — frequently washing their hands — but not living in isolation.
“I have two young kids,” she said, InStyle reported. “Some people value their lives over freedom. Some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices.”
As one might expect, the backlash against Lilly has been swift.
Film reviewer Pramit Chatterjee urged the MCU to “immediately” recast Lilly’s character.
“There are much more talented (and sane) actors out there who can take up their spot [and] make the set a safe space,” he wrote, condemning “Black Panther” star Letitia Wright, too, over her reported skepticism of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Another social media user commented: “We can’t have any good women scientist heroes in the MCU.”
“Evangeline Lilly is in Marvel films and apparently she would rather be stuck in a production of Steel Magnolias at the Waco Playhouse with Kristy Swanson and Gina Carano,” added Crooked Media’s Louis Virtel.
There have been plenty, though, who have come to Lilly’s defense:
A history of faith
It’s worth noting Lilly — known for her role in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — was reportedly raised by devoutly Christian parents. In fact, as a teenager, she went on a three-week mission trip to the Philippines.
In 2013, she told ABS-CBN News (not affiliated with this CBN News) that she lived in Palawan for nearly a month, describing the trip as “a wonderful experience.”
“Palawan, particularly, was so beautiful and remote and untouched,” she said. “The tribal people that we stayed with were so incredibly generous and hospitable and kind.”
Lilly’s dad was a grocery store produce manager and her mom ran a daycare center out of their family home. Her parents were Mennonite and Baptist, according to Rolling Stone, and Lilly even taught Sunday school for nearly a decade before briefly working as a flight attendant.
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