Actress Evangeline Lilly apologises for ‘arrogant’ coronavirus comments

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Hollywood actress Evangeline Lilly has apologised for her "arrogant" coronavirus comments.

The Avengers: Endgame star dismissed self-isolating and suggested the government was exploiting the pandemic to "grab more power".

Lilly said it was "business as usual" for her and told worried fans to "look at the facts we are being presented with".

Following a backlash, Lilly has now apologised and said her comments on March 16 came before official advice in her area changed dramatically.

In a lengthy Instagram post, she said: "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.

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

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"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."

Lilly, also known for appearing in TV drama Lost, confirmed she and her family are now isolating and said she had previously been trying to infuse "calm into the hysteria".

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22 April 2019 - Los Angeles, California - Evangeline Lilly. Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Endgame" Los Angeles Premiere held at Los Angeles Convention Center. Photo Credit: F. Sadou/AdMedia/Sipa USA
LOS ANGELES - OCT 20: Evangeline Lilly at the GO Campaign Gala at the City Market Social House on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA (Sipa USA)
Evangeline Lilly attending a photocall for Ant-Man and The Wasp, held at Corinthia Hotel, London.
Evangeline Lilly at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association press conference for "Ant-man and the Wasp" held in Los Angeles, CA on June 24, 2018. (Photo by Yoram Kahana/Shooting Star/Sipa USA) *** NO TABLOID PUBLICATIONS *** NO USA SALES FOR 30 DAYS ***
Evangeline Lilly arrives at Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Infinity War" held on Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood, CA on Monday, April 22, 2018. (Photo By Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA)
Evangeline Lilly attends the Los Angeles Premiere of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, CA on December 9, 2014. (Photo by John Salangsang/Sipa USA)
Evangeline Lilly at the unveiling of Peter Jackson Honored With A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame in Hollywood, CA. The event took place on Monday, December 8, 2014. Photo by: Sthanlee B. Mirador_Shooting Star/SIPA USA
Evangeline Lilly arriving at The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies World Premiere held at Odeon Leicester Square and Empire IMAX, London
Evangeline Lilly arriving at The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies World Premiere held at Odeon Leicester Square and Empire IMAX, London
22 November 2014 - Los Angeles, Evangeline Lilly. Evangeline Lilly Signs Copies Of Her New Book "The Squickerwonkers" Held at The Barnes & Noble at The Grove. Photo Credit: F.Sadou/AdMedia/Sipa USA
L-R: Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom attend The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug New York Screening, hosted by the Cinema Society and Moncler, held at the Time Warner Screening Room in New York City, Wednesday, December 11, 2013. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Sipa USA)
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She added: "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."

Canadian actress Lilly, 40, said earlier this month she is living with her two children and seriously ill father, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

The coronavirus continues to disrupt everyday life around the world, with economies shuddering and cases rising.

In the US alone, the New York Times reported on Thursday at least 81,321 people are known to have been infected, including more than 1,000 deaths.

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