Zachary Levi has been facing backlash on social media ever since he posted an anti-Pfizer tweet on Jan. 29. Responding to a Twitter user who wrote, “Do you agree or not that Pfizer is a real danger to the world?” Levi posted, “Hardcore agree.” Many social media users have interpreted Levi’s post as being anti-vaccine, giving the actor and Warner Bros. a potential press tour obstacle as “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” gears up for its March release date.
James Gunn, the new co-head of DC Studios, was asked to weigh in on Levi’s tweet during a press event on the Warner Bros. lot on Jan. 30. The filmmaker, who is no stranger to Twitter backlash after Disney originally fired him from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” due to controversial jokes he made on the platform years earlier, said making business decisions and agreeing with someone are not mutually exclusive.
“Just real simply: Actors and filmmakers that I work with are going to say things that I agree with and things that I don’t agree with,” Gunn said. “And that’s going to happen. I don’t have a list of things that somebody should say because of what I think. And you know, I can’t be changing my plans all the time because an actor says something that I don’t agree with.”
“By the same token, if somebody’s doing something morally reprehensible then that’s a different story,” Gunn added. “We have to take all that stuff into account. It’s a balance. It’s modern world and it’s a different place.”
While Levi has the “Shazam” sequel opening in March, neither Gunn nor Safran spoke about a potential third “Shazam” movie during their DC Universe presentation. Gunn said there’s no reason previously-established DC Universe actors like Levi and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) can’t continue to play their characters moving forward, but there’s also no concrete plans yet announced for them to do so.
Just how Levi’s anti-Pfizer tweet affects his “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” press tour remains to be seen. Marvel had to endure a similar PR crisis when its “Black Panther” star Letitia Wright shared an anti-vaxx conspiracy video to her Twitter page long before “Wakanda Forever’s” opening. Wright ultimately issued a statement saying, “My intention was not to hurt anyone, my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies. Nothing else.”
“Shazam: Fury of the Gods” opens in theaters March 17.
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