Evangeline Lilly has revealed her involvement in a rally against COVID-19 vaccine mandates, posting on social media that she joined thousands of protesters in Washington, DC in an effort to “support bodily sovereignty”.
The actress, best known for her work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Hobbit franchises, shared a collection of photos from the rally on Instagram, alongside a quote from capital investor Naval Ravikant reading: “All tyranny begins with the desire to coerce others for the greater good.”
The rally itself took place last Sunday (January 23) at the Washington Monument in DC’s National Mall. Among those speaking at the event was Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (a nephew of former US president John F. Kennedy), who, as CNN reports, likened vaccine mandates in the US to Nazi Germany.
“I believe nobody should ever be forced to inject their body with anything, against their will,” Lilly wrote in her post, citing a range of threats and consequences that she believes those refusing the vaccine are subject to.
“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.”
This week’s post isn’t the first time Lilly has turned heads over her conduct during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last March, she sparked criticism after telling fans that she refused to self-isolate because she values “freedom”, and dismissed the novel coronavirus as a “respiratory flu”.
She further angered fans by revealing that she lived with her father, who has stage four leukaemia. In a separate comment, she claimed that the virus may have been deployed by the US government ahead of the forthcoming presidential election.
Lilly would go on to apologise for her comments, assuring fans she was doing her part “to flatten the curve, practicing social distancing and staying home with my family”. She wrote at the time: “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 COVID-19.”
Lilly has continued acting throughout the pandemic, starring in last year’s films Crisis and South Of Heaven. She’s set to continue her MCU stint next July, starring opposite Paul Rudd (and alongside Bill Murray) in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania.