Monday, June 17, 2024

“Ant Man” Mystery: How Anti-Vaxxer Evangeline Lilly Overcame Disney Mandate All Actors Must Be Inoculated


“Ant Man and WASP: Quantumania” opens tonight, it’s the third “Ant Man” movie.

Regardless of the actual plot, the bigger mystery is how actress Evangeline Lilly, who plays the WASP, managed to circumvent Disney protocol about the pandemic.

Lilly is a vocal anti-vaxxer, as well as anti-social distancing or any other edict of the CDC. In January 2022 she posted to her 2.4 million Instagram followers:

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.

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
-loss of education
-alienation from loved ones
-excommunication from society
…under any threat whatsoever.

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.

Marvel, the studio that makes “Ant Man” movies, is owned by Disney. Disney issued a strict vaccination rule for all employees two years ago. They were so adamant about it that two actors on ABC’s “General Hospital” were essentially fired in late fall 2021 for refusing to get the shots. Disney pulled back on vax restrictions a year later. But by then, “Quantumania” had been filmed. (Shooting went on for most of 2021.)

I’ve reached out to Disney PR to ask how Lilly got away with not having the vaccination. When they answer, I’ll update this piece.

Lilly — who also promoted anti-vax videos and livestreams–  tells Esquire she expected backlash from her anti-vaxx stance. She tells the magazine: “I know the beast that I’m attacking,” she recalls thinking then. “I know that I have a little pebble and there’s this fucking Goliath giant. If I shoot this pebble, it’s going to wake the giant.” Though she says she asked herself “about six hundred times” whether she should post, she ultimately decided to wake the giant. “I just wanted people out there who were struggling because they were under severe pressure to do something they didn’t want to do to know that they weren’t alone, to know that there were people who actually felt they had a right to say no,” says Lilly.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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