On the same day that the US overtook China to report the most number of coronavirus cases in the world, actor Evangeline Lilly, who had made light of the pandemic last week, apologised for her comments. Lilly's post received backlash, including from actors Sophie Turner and Maggie Grace.
On Thursday, the actor, known for the Hobbit films, the Marvel movies, and the television show Lost, took to Instagram to offer an apology. "Hello everyone," she 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."
She continued, "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." She said that she is doing what she can 'to flatten the curve'.
She added, "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."
Lilly in her original post had likened the virus, which has affected over 500000 people worldwide, to 'a respiratory flu', and had compared lockdown scenarios to 'Marshal Law.' She had written that for her, freedom was more important, to which Sophie Turner had replied in an Instagram live video, "I don't give a f**k about your freedom."
In a comment on the original post, her Lost co-star Maggie Grace had asked Lilly to show some compassion, and had wondered if Lilly knew how their Lost colleague Daniel Dae Kim, who has been diagnosed with the disease, was doing.