In the past week, many of us have dealt with dramatic shifts to work schedules and daily routines as the U.S. has responded with increased precautions about the spread of COVID-19. The discourse has carried over into all aspects of living, including celebrities participating on social media. For the past week, LOST and Ant-Man actress Evangeline Lilly has been under fire for expressing her decision to skip out on social distancing.
Last Monday, the actress took to Instagram to announce she’d dropped her kids off to gymnastic camp. Any other week, it would have been a routine update no one would think twice about, but it was written right as health officials started asking citizens to practice social distancing and stay at home as much as possible. When a fan challenged her actions, Evangeline Lilly said "some people value freedom over their lives” and refused to place her family under “corona house arrest”. Now the actress is expressing regret over her prior comments. Here’s how Lilly responded:
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.
As the Marvel star has detailed on her Instagram today, she has been social distancing in her home alongside her family since March 18 – two days after her controversial words. She said that at the time of her first post, her community had much looser directives, only asking people to not gather in groups of 250 people or more and to wash their hands frequently. Along with Evangeline Lilly, many of us have experienced a rapid shift in measures in the past week.
Evangeline Lilly made it clear that she is now doing her part to flatten the curve by staying home. She mentioned her concern for other families, communities and small businesses, but also highlighted the “humanity” she’s seen come out of people during this time. She’s certainly not the first celebrity who has had to hold her tongue about the virus this week – Vanessa Hudgens also apologized for her own controversial comments about COVID-19.
Evangeline Lilly's former LOST co-star, Daniel Dae Kim, actually announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus a few days after her comments. The actor, who was shooting a television show in New York City when he caught the virus, is starting to recover after using prescribed medications from his doctor.
Another LOST actor, Maggie Grace, reached out to Evangeline Lilly on Instagram about her comments in hopes of educating her on the pandemic. Take a look:
Game of Thrones’ own Sophie Turner also seemed to respond to Evangeline Lilly’s particular comments on the global health crisis earlier this week when she said “I don’t give a F about your freedom” during a livestream on Instagram with her husband, Joe Jonas.
Following a week of controversy over comments made by the actress, Evangeline Lilly’s approach to the matter certainly looks to have shifted as public knowledge of the situation has widened among Americans. She’s staying home too.