Evangeline Lilly apologizes for tone-deaf coronavirus post

'I was projecting my own fears into an already fearful and traumatic situation.'

Mar 27, 2020, 11:10 am

Internet Culture

Michelle Jaworski 

Michelle Jaworski

evangeline lilly

Tinseltown/Shutterstock.com

More than a week after actress Evangeline Lilly said that she wasn’t self-quarantining to prevent spread of the coronavirus—comments which drew massive backlash online—the actress is apologizing for her previous “insensitivity” when discussing the pandemic.

In a new Instagram post, Lilly noted that she and her family have been practicing social distancing and trying to help flatten the curve since March 18 once her town instructed citizens to do so. She explained that when her original post went up, government policies were more lax (e.g. congregations of more than 250 people were banned). She also believed that in her original post, she was trying to inject some calm amid widespread anxiety.

She now sees that she was wrong and that she was projecting her own fears when she wrote about maintaining normalcy. She also acknowledged that her silence over the past several days only made it worse.

“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.”

View this post on Instagram

Hello everyone. 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. 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, PLEASE KNOW I AM DOING MY PART TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAYING HOME WITH MY FAMILY. 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. I am grieved by the ongoing loss of life, and the impossible decisions medical workers around the world must make as they treat those affected. I am concerned for our communities – small businesses and families living paycheck-to-paycheck – and I am trying to follow responsible recommendations for how to help. Like many of you, I fear for the political aftermath of this pandemic, and I am praying for us all. At the same time, 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 realize my place in all of this. Sending love to all of you, even if you can’t return it right now. EL

A post shared by Evangeline Lilly (@evangelinelillyofficial) on

Lilly’s post comes after days of condemnation from Instagram commenters and other celebrities. Sophie Turner mocked her in an Instagram Live video while Lilly’s Lost co-star Maggie Grace wrote a lengthy comment pushing back against her original views that ended with a reminder that Daniel Dae Kim (another Lost co-star) is recovering from COVID-19.

H/T BuzzFeed

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*First Published: Mar 27, 2020, 11:10 am