James Gunn Reacts To Zachary Levi's Anti-Pfizer Comments
"I can't be changing my plans all the time because an actor says something that I don't agree with."
Writer-director James Gunn has reacted to what Shazam star Zachary Levi had to say about the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which makes one of the COVID-19 vaccines. For anyone just catching up, Levi said he "hardcore" agrees that Pfizer is a "real danger to the world."
Speaking at a DC event this week attended by Variety, Gunn said he doesn't have to agree with someone to be in business with them.
"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," he 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," Gunn said of the Shazam 2 star's comments.
At the same time, Gunn said if someone is doing something "morally reprehensible," then that's a different story. "We have to take all that stuff into account. It's a balance. It's modern world and it's a different place," he said.
Levi later tweeted a link to a US Department of Justice press release from 2009 when Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion to settle a fraudulent marketing charge. Pfizer pled guilty to a felony violation over some of its drugs. Pfizer was also found to have paid kickbacks to health care providers to encourage them to prescribe certain drugs.
Gunn, of course, is no stranger to social media controversy. He himself was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for jokes he made on social media. He was eventually reinstated and then switched teams when he became the new co-head of DC Studios.
Levi is not the only comic book movie star to discuss the vaccine on social media and draw heat for it. Black Panther star Letitia Wright shared a video on social media about the vaccine and later released a statement saying she was trying to raise awareness and understanding for people when considering "what we are putting into our bodies."
Shazam: Fury of the Gods opens on March 17.
You can learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine here.