i am legend
Despite their proven safety and effectiveness at protecting people from the virus that's killed over 600 thousand Americans, the United States is wrangling with countless conspiracy theories regarding the vaccines.
Since these vaccines began distribution, largely right-wing conspiracy theorists have said they make people magnetic, that they contain microchips to track Americans' locations, and even that they're the "mark of the beast."
One especially absurd delusion regarding the vaccines takes its cue from the 2007 post-apocalyptic film I Am Legend, in which the world is overrun with zombies who fell victim to a deadly genetically engineered virus originally designed to cure cancer.
Of course, I Am Legend is 100 percent fiction, but that hasn't stopped anti-vaxxers from citing it as a reason not to take the vaccine.
The delusion went viral after being mentioned in a New York Times story about vaccine hesitancy earlier this month, which read:
"One employee said she was concerned because she thought a vaccine had caused the characters in the film 'I Am Legend' to turn into zombies. People opposed to vaccines have circulated that claim about the movie's plot widely on social media. But the plague that turned people into zombies in the movie was caused by a genetically reprogrammed virus, not by a vaccine."
People were stunned that there were Americans who actually believed this.
I Am Legend's co-screenwriter Akiva Goldsman was bewildered, and tweeted to assure that the movie was, in fact, fiction.
@marcbernardin Oh. My. God. It’s a movie. I made that up. It’s. Not. Real.— Akiva Goldsman (@Akiva Goldsman) 1628538814.0
Not only are the delusions about vaccines wrong, but so is the evaluation of I Am Legend and its supposed parallels with vaccines. The creation of the vaccines did not involve genetic modification, and the plague in I Am Legend wasn't distributed through a vaccine.
Goldsman's response set social media on fire.
Wait, I am Legend was NOT a documentary??? https://t.co/c02IEdq9HU— Rich Evans (@Rich Evans) 1628670382.0
Not the antivaxxers dragging the screenwriter of I Am Legend into their mess!!! https://t.co/xvd0CgP3cy— @PiaGlenn (@@PiaGlenn) 1628554644.0
Didn’t think to have this in my 2021 bingo card…. https://t.co/AMY7vDnsMV— Dr. Saskia Popescu (@Dr. Saskia Popescu) 1628631772.0
Aliens watching this season of Earth: https://t.co/2qr6k5Gjut https://t.co/Tj5Eyoc0m6— 🎶Cocaine & Chicken with ya frens🎵 (@🎶Cocaine & Chicken with ya frens🎵) 1628552382.0
People were amazed that this needed to be said.
The writer of I Am Legend having to quash anti vax theories that the movie was based in reality… 🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/2gvaAkxadX— Adam Driver (@Adam Driver) 1628628554.0
When the screenwriter of I am Legend has to step up and say the fictional scenarios of vaccines resulting in zombie… https://t.co/g8DoVH9DWT— Aparna Nair (@Aparna Nair) 1628553162.0
So glad we've cleared that up, so sad it needed clarifying. https://t.co/MTjJ4ffrEa— Dr. Amanda Warr 🧬 (@Dr. Amanda Warr 🧬) 1628626773.0
You can watch the I Am Legend trailer here.