There’s nothing super about a DC film star facing accusations of being “anti-vaxx”, yet that’s exactly what Zachary Levi – who’s set to appear in Shazam! Fury of the Gods in March – had to deal with following posts made via his Twitter account on Sunday.
Levi, who stars as the adult alter ego of teenager Billy Batson in the superhero films, sparked concern at the weekend over his response to a tweet from self-proclaimed “conspiracy theorist” Lyndon Wood.
On Saturday, Wood wrote: “Do you agree or not, that Pfizer is a real danger to the world?”
To which Levi replied a day later and said: “Hardcore agree.”
And if anyone thought it may have been just the one poor mishap, the actor later shared a 2009 news article from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) regarding Pfizer, which he said is “just one example of what I’m referring to”.
Except the press release contains no evidence of the company’s coronavirus vaccine being harmful – the Pfizer jab is actually safe and effective, according to numerous health sources including the World Health Organisation - and instead relates to a fraud settlement between Pfizer and the DoJ.
It states the pharmaceutical company agreed to shell out $2.3 million to “resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products” – made up of a claim it misbranded the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra (which it took off sale in 2005), and illegally promoted Bextra, the anti-psychotic drug Geodan, the antibiotic Zyvox and the anti-epileptic drug Lyrica.
None of this, of course, relates to the company’s coronavirus vaccine and its safety – not least because the press release was issued more than a decade before coronavirus was declared a pandemic and the company’s jab was invented.
As you might expect, Twitter users weren’t all that impressed with Levi’s stance against Pfizer and his potentially being anti-vaxx, with one branding it a “bad take from a good guy”.
Another wrote: “Please tell me you mean in an ‘artificially inflating the price of life-saving medicines and vaccines for profit’ and not in an ‘antivaxx conspiracy theory’ way, man. It’s so hard to tell these days.”
“The press tour is going to be interesting,” remarked a third, in reference to the upcoming Shazam sequel.
A fourth replied: “I got Pfizer’s Covid vaccine which allowed me to go see movies in theatres again. Guess I can skip yours.”
It isn’t the first time a superhero star has come under fire for their political stance, as The Mandalorian and Deadpool star Gina Carano previously faced criticism for comparing life as a Republican to the experience of Jewish people during the Holocaust.
indy100 has approached Levi's representatives for comment.
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