Updated 27/03/20: Evangeline Lilly has issued an apology for her ‘arrogant’ and ‘cryptic’ message regarding the severity of Covid-19.
On Thursday, the actress took to Instagram to call her previous remarks as ‘dismissive, arrogant and cryptic’ after she received backlash for the comments from the likes of actress and ELLE UK cover star Sophie Turner.
On March 18, the Lost star described Covid-19 as nothing more than ‘respiratory flu’.
An excerpt of her apology reads: ‘...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 [sic].’
‘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,’ the star added.
‘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,’ she wrote.
The actress continued, explaining that she was ‘grieved’ by the increasing number of deaths around the world as a result of the pandemic, as well as the ‘impossible decisions’ caregivers, nurses and doctors are being forced to make.
‘At the same time,’ she concluded. ‘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 realise my place in all of this. Sending love to all of you, even if you can't return it right now.’
The apology has been received well by her followers who have thanked her for addressing her previous remarks.
Taking to her Instagram account on March 20, the X-Men actress engaged her followers in a livestreamed video on the social media platform.
The video (embedded further down) - which featured her husband, 30-year-old singer Joe Jonas and a couple of fun distortion filters - contained some fiercely worded thoughts on people who have recently posited that they value their 'freedom' over the need to stay inside and practise social-distancing, during the pandemic.
The Game of Thrones actress, who puts the word 'freedom' in air quotes, appears to be referencing the controversial comments made by Lost actress Evangeline Lilly.
On Tuesday March 17, Lilly posted a picture of a cup of tea to her Instagram account, with a caption and further replies in her comments section which agitated her followers.
In the post, the 40-year-old actress and mother, stated that she had just 'dropped [her] kids off at gymnastics camp. They all washed their hands before going in.'
Eliciting responses which branded her irresponsible, she responded: 'I have two young kids. Some people value their lives over their freedom, some people value freedom over their lives' - suggesting that she valued the ability to be outside and to let her children socialise, over the importance of staying inside, avoiding large groups or maintaining a six foot space between people, as governments all over the world have advised.
In what seems to be a direct response to Lilly's 'freedom' message, Sophie Turner's critique went as follows:
'Stay inside. Don't be f***ing stupid, even if you count your 'freedom' over (I don't know, what is it) your health? I don't give a Fffff about your freedom, you could be infecting other people, other vulnerable people around you by doing this. So stay inside guys.'
You can watch Turner's full critique below:
i’m living for sophie turner dragging evangeline lilly and vanessa hudgens after they said the coronavirus quarantine is overdramatic and they value their freedoms over their health. sophie did not come to play pic.twitter.com/yWJckWPDDX— rey (@dicksgraysn) March 20, 2020
Evageline Lilly is not the only celebrity to draw criticism for their relaxed approach to the virus outbreak. Earlier in the week, Chrissy Teigen was forced to come to the defense of High School Musical actress Vanessa Hudgens, after she posted a video making light of the situation.
In Hudgens' video, she let slip the sentence: 'yeah, people are gonna die, which is terrible, but like, inevitable?' which angered much of her viewership and prompted Teigen to encourage people not to ruin someone's life over one 'really stupid' comment.
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