It’s been a rough 24 hours for a guy most people do not think about ever. I’m sure lots of people fit that bill, but in this specific instance I am talking about Zachary Levi. You know, the guy from Chuck? He’s also the voice of Flynn Rider in Tangled? Maybe you saw Shazam!? The actor found himself in hot water on Twitter yesterday when he wrote “Hardcore agree. 😐” in response to someone asking if Pfizer was “a real danger to the world.”
This was taken to mean that Levi is anti-vax, which is always an unpleasant surprise to find out about a celebrity, but maybe not so shocking if you count yourself among the dozen people in the world who know a single fact about the actor. Those handful of experts pointed out on social media that Levi is apparently, among other things, a Jordan Peterson fan, allegedly racist and/or sexist, and a self-described Libertarian.
The last time I thought about Levi was when the trailer for his faith-based football biopic played before every movie I actually wanted to see, so forgive me if I didn’t know any of this stuff before. Unfortunately, this discovery did lead me to make the horrible decision of typing “Zachary Levi Joe Rogan” into the YouTube search bar and clicking on a video called “Zachary Levi's Thoughts on the Johnny Depp Trial.” If you’re looking to cause brain injury without any physical pain, I recommend it.
Levi’s big problem is that the Shazam! sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, is coming out in six weeks. He can’t go on a press tour for a major DC Comics movie and have everyone asking about his stance on vaccines. So what did he do? Well, first he retweeted some jokes, then he tweeted a link to 2009 DOJ press release announcing that Pfizer would have to pay $2.3 billion for fraudulent marketing. “Just one example of what I’m referring to…😔,” he wrote.
Eight hours after clarifying that he’s actually anti-Pfizer in a kind of Nan Goldin way (sure…), Levi shared that his father had passed away a few days earlier following a long battle with cancer. You can look at this cynically and think of it as a calculated move to distract from the fact that people are digging up a bunch of questionable statements that he has made in the past. Or perhaps you’re more charitable, and think that in the throes of grief Levi decided to… rail against big pharma?
Whatever the case may be, there’s a lesson in this for all of us: You do not have to pay attention to Zachary Levi. Lots of actors have stupid opinions, it’s just that most of them don’t have the password to their Twitter accounts.