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Controversial Opinions

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Marvel actress Evangeline Lilly found herself in hot water last week when she posted dismissive comments about the spread of coronavirus on her Instagram. In the post, she wrote:

"#morningtea ☕ Just dropped my kids off at gymnastics camp. They all washed their hands before going in. They are playing and laughing. #businessasusual"

She continued in the comments section, responding to some followers, saying:

"Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make choices"

"Where we are right now feels a lot too close to Marshall (sic) Law for my comfort already, all in the name of a respiratory flu."

People were outraged at this lack of compassion and critical thinking, calling her out in her comments section. Sophie Turner also posted about it on her Instagram stories (without mentioning Lilly by name).

"Don’t be f-cking stupid. Here’s the tea. Stay inside. Don’t be fucking stupid, even if you count your ‘freedom’ over — I don’t know, what is it — like, your health? I don’t give a f-ck about your freedom. You can be infecting other people, other vulnerable people around you, by doing this. So stay inside, guys. It’s not cool and it’s not big and it’s not clever."

An Apology For Arrogance

10 days later, Lilly took to Instagram again singing a much different tune. In a lengthy post featuring an abstract photo of her children playing a boardgames, Lilly wrote:

"I am writing you from my home where I have been social distancing since Mar 18th – when social distancing was instituted in the small community where I am currently living. At the time of my Mar 16th post, the directives from the authorities here were that we not congregate in groups of more than 250ppl and that we wash our hands regularly, which we were doing. Two days later, those directives changed and, despite my intense trepidation over the socioeconomic and political repercussions of this course of action, PLEASE KNOW I AM DOING MY PART TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAYING HOME WITH MY FAMILY."

Doing Her Part

Lilly continued, claiming that she was attempting to "infuse calm into hysteria."

"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. 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.

My direct and special apologies to those most affected by this pandemic. I never meant to hurt you. 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."

The Feeling Of Grief

In the final words of the statement, Lilly expressed a feeling of grief over the current state of the world but also her appreciation for the acts of kindness and bravery that people are exhibiting.

"I am grieved by the ongoing loss of life, and the impossible decisions medical workers around the world must make as they treat those affected. I am concerned for our communities – small businesses and families living paycheck-to-paycheck – and I am trying to follow responsible recommendations for how to help. Like many of you, I fear for the political aftermath of this pandemic, and I am praying for us all. At the same time, I am heartened by the beauty and humanity I see so many people demonstrating toward one another in this vulnerable time. When I was grappling with my own fears over social distancing, one kind, wise and gracious person said to me 'do it out of love, not fear' and it helped me to realize my place in all of this."

One hopes that this contrition is genuine, but with the rumors that this controversy was possibly affecting her standing at Marvel, one can't help but wonder if this was PR.

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