Science

‘I Am Legend’ screenwriter tells anti-vaxxers the movie is ‘not real’ to shut down a bizarre meme falsely saying the zombies in the film were sickened by vaccines

Summary List PlacementZombies aren't real, and vaccines don't turn people into zombies. While those statements may sound obvious, "I Am Legend" screenwriter Akiva Goldsman felt compelled to remind his followers in a tweet Monday night to quash an anti-vax meme circulating the internet. The meme, which began circulating online in December 2020, uses a screengrab from Goldsman's 2007 apocalyptic movie starring Will Smith. In the movie, Smith's character is the sole survivor of a genetically modified virus that has turned humans into zombies. The meme falsely claims that the vaccination, not the sickness, turned people into zombies in the film. Not only does the...

Zombie and Will Smith in

Summary List Placement

Zombies aren’t real, and vaccines don’t turn people into zombies.

While those statements may sound obvious, “I Am Legend” screenwriter Akiva Goldsman felt compelled to remind his followers in a tweet Monday night to quash an anti-vax meme circulating the internet.

The meme, which began circulating online in December 2020, uses a screengrab from Goldsman’s 2007 apocalyptic movie starring Will Smith.

In the movie, Smith’s character is the sole survivor of a genetically modified virus that has turned humans into zombies.

The meme falsely claims that the vaccination, not the sickness, turned people into zombies in the film.

Not only does the meme mix up the plot of “I Am Legend,” but it also implies that the sci-fi movie has some bearing on reality.

Goldsman, who wrote the movie, took to Twitter to clear things up.

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The meme has been passed around anti-vaccine circles since the first COVID-19 shots were authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration last winter. 

At the time, Reuters published a “fact check” of the movie’s plot, pointing out that a vaccine did not turn the film’s characters into zombies.

Vaccines have never caused zombie-like reactions in real life. At worst, recipients of the COVID-19 vaccines risk a short bout of body aches, fatigue, and possibly chills that fades within hours. Recent data estimated the US vaccine rollout has saved 300,000 lives.

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