What James Gunn had to say about Zachary Levi’s Pfizer tweet
DC boss James Gunn has addressed a controversial tweet by Zachary Levi that questioned the “Shazam!” star’s position on vaccines.
Levi on Saturday tweeted “Hardcore agrees” when asked if pharmaceutical company Pfizer is “a real threat to the world.” Levi’s tweet has since sparked debate over whether the on-screen superhero opposes corruption in the pharmaceutical industry or Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
“Actors and filmmakers that I work with will say things that I agree with and things that I don’t agree with,” Gunn said Monday during a press event on the Warner Bros. backlot, according to Variety.
“That will happen. I don’t have a list of things someone should say about my opinion. And you know, I can’t keep changing my plans just because an actor says something I don’t agree with.”
However, the film executive and director added that “if someone does something morally reprehensible, that’s a different story.”
“We have to take all these things into account,” he said. “It’s a balance. It’s a modern world and a different place.”
Shortly after Levi raised eyebrows with his anti-Pfizer stance tweeted a link on a 2009 Justice Department press release announcing that the United States government had reached a $2.3 billion settlement with Pfizer “to resolve criminal and civil liability that resulting from the illegal advertising of certain pharmaceutical products”.
“Just an example of what I’m referring to…” Levi tweeted along with a thoughtful emoji.
While some interpreted Levi’s follow-up tweet as evidence of his disdain for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (not the COVID vaccine), others speculated that the “Chuck” alum found and shared the DOJ’s old press release, in a desperate bid , to mitigate the damage done by his original tweet.
Levi officials have not responded to inquiries from the Los Angeles Times.
Regardless of his intentions, Levi found himself less than two months away from the release of his latest film, Shazam! Wrath of the Gods.” The sequel to 2019’s “Shazam!” stars Levi as the alter ego of an immature teenager who has the power to transform into a grown man with super strength and super speed.
“Zachary Levi launching the Shazam 2 marketing campaign by taking a stand against vaccines is certainly a choice.” tweeted @I_am_da_BOM. “I don’t know guys, if I were the lead in a new $125 million movie I had to see I probably wouldn’t retweet conspiracy theories, but hey, that’s just me.”
“Zachary Levi is the perfect casting for Shazam because he’s a grown man with a child’s brain.” @comicskirby tweeted.
It’s not just Levi’s alleged vaccination views that have come under scrutiny following his tweet. Many have taken the opportunity to recirculate other controversial statements from the “Tangled” actor’s past.
Some accused the performer of crying “reverse racism” and “reverse sexism” as he tweeted in 2018 that “men can’t have meaningful conversations about sexism” and “white people can’t have meaningful conversations about racism…is both sexist and racist.”
Levi addressed the consequences of that time in a long statement He reiterated his opinion that it is discrimination “to be prevented from talking about sexism and racism because of my gender and the color of my skin”. He added that he wasn’t “trying to downplay the wrongs being done to women or people of color in this world” or “to shut anyone up.”
Others shared a clip from a 2022 episode of the controversial Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which featured Levi Jordan Peterson — a Canadian psychologist widely criticized for expressing misogynist and transphobic views — as a deep thinker “ with a lot of integrity” praised. ”
“But I also know that Jordan has his own stuff that people struggle with. I get it. Nobody’s perfect,” Levi told Rogan.
“While everyone’s hauling Zachary Levi for this, remember he was just a Rogan show admiring a transphobe and didn’t say a word when Rogan mis-gendered Elliot Page.” @LothWolffe tweeted. “He’s scum.”
“Today I found out that Zachary Levi is a mad anti-vaccinationist who supports hate speech in all its forms.” tweeted @MediumSizeMeech in response to the Rogan clip. “My bingo card is too full.”
Several also condemned Levi for a meme he once shared on his Instagram story, in which he mocked “Aquaman” star Amber Heard, who had repeatedly accused her ex-husband Johnny Depp of abusing her. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor has denied his ex-wife’s claims.
“[Levi] believes in reverse racism, has supported people who were against EVERYTHING and poked fun at an abuse survivor.” @blkcomictwit tweeted. “Never in my life have I seen anyone so determined to be unemployed.”
On Monday, new DC co-chairs Gunn and Peter Safran revealed their eight- to 10-year vision for the superhero factory. Though those responsible have recently come under fire for scrapping projects started by their predecessors, they reassured fans that existing franchise stars — like Levi, Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman) — still have a future could return to the big screen.
However, the immediate plan is to highlight fresh talent and introduce new characters to the universe.
“We’ll find out,” Gunn said.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2023-02-01/james-gunn-zachary-levi-pfizer-tweet-anti-vax-shazam-2 What James Gunn had to say about Zachary Levi’s Pfizer tweet