How The Movie “I Am Legend” Sparked a COVID-19 Vaccine Conspiracy Theory

For the last year and a half, the COVID-19 virus has changed the world as we know it. Countless people have been negatively impacted by the virus and countries all over the world were forced to instate lockdowns for months on end. Many people across the world felt a glimmer of hope when a vaccine for the virus was released. However, there are also many people who simply don’t trust the vaccine. Instead, they feel that there is an ulterior motive with the vaccine and that it could potentially have negative long-term effects – including possibly turning people into zombies. Now, some people who don’t support the vaccine have turned to a popular movie to cite their concerns. Keep reading to learn more about the COVID-related conspiracy surrounding I Am Legend.

What Is The I Am Legend COVID-19 Conspiracy?

Since I Am Legend was released well over a decade before the pandemic began (2007), you may be wondering how on earth it could be connected to COVID-19. In early 2021, a tweet from a user named xConfettiChaosx said, “I don’t want to alarm anybody.. but y’all remember that I Am Legend Movie? Yeah the one with Will Smith? It was set in 2021.. and the zombie outbreak was due to a failed vaccine.” Although the tweet itself didn’t reach viral numbers, the sentiment about the correlation between COVID and the film quickly began to circulate around the internet. The theory resurfaced in early August 2021 when an article reported that an employee in New York refused to get the vaccine because she feared turning into a zombie as in the movie. Some people even noted that the film was set in 2021 which added more fuel to the fire. People all over the internet couldn’t help but feel like there was a bit of a connection, and this was used to support the idea that the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe. After all, anyone who has seen I Am Legend knows that living in a world surrounded by zombies doesn’t sound like a good time.

The Truth About I Am Legend

While some people took this tweet and ran with it, others decided to revisit the film’s plot to do some fact-checking. For starters, the cause of the ‘outbreak’ in the movie wasn’t a vaccine, it was a modified version of the measles virus. Will Smith’s character was actually trying to create a vaccine to protect people. Additionally, several people cited that the movie wasn’t set in 2021. It was actually set in 2012. On top of that, the movie I Am Legend was based on a novel of the same name which was released in 1954. The original version of the story also doesn’t include anything about a vaccine being harmful to the public.

The Original Tweet Was Just A Joke

The woman who posted the original tweet noted that she was simply joking. She noted, “If you are here, hello. I am a student nurse and vaccinated. My tweet is dark humor & proves how people always believe anything they read on the internet. Not my problem if you can’t google 5 seconds & see this is all BS. Can’t fix antivax agenda stupid, so I combat with humor.” She also added that a fictional movie probably isn’t the best barometer to determine whether or not a vaccine is safe. Hopefully, however, she learned that you have to be careful about what you say on the internet. Even though she was being sarcastic in her original tweet, lots of people took her words and ran with them which essentially caused a lot of confusion. During a time where misinformation can spread like wildfire and lots of people don’t bother fact-checking, it’s easy to see how jokes like this can get out of hand. At the same time, they also serve as a painful reminder of how many people blindly believe random things they read on the internet.

Here’s What The Writer Of I Am Legend Has To Say

The belief that the COVID-19 vaccine had the power to turn the world into a scene from I Am Legend eventually took off so much that the film’s writer had to chime in. Akiva Goldsman cleared the air once and for all when he tweeted, “Oh. My. God. It’s a movie. I made that up. It’s. Not. Real.” He didn’t explain any further, but it’s clear that he doesn’t have time for any rumors. While there are lots of people who have serious concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, don’t let I Am Legend be one of the things that prevent you from getting the shot.

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