Actress Rebel Wilson sparked furious backlash online after she responded to Sydney’s decision to reimpose a COVID-19 lockdown.
Over the weekend, “Australian officials instituted a strict two-week lockdown for Sydney and surrounding areas on Saturday, to fight an outbreak of the coronavirus Delta variant,” reported The New York Times. “It is Sydney’s first full lockdown since early 2020.”
Wilson responded on Instagram, posting a selfie with the caption, “Sydney WTF !!!” Two later posts showed what Wilson claimed were empty shelves at a Sydney grocery store, as well as a story which read, “You can’t keep locking down as a strategy.”
Critics were quick to point out that the “Pitch Perfect” actress is currently filming her new movie in the United States, and is therefore not subject to the latest Australian restrictions.
“Coming from somebody who has been traveling the world constantly over the past year for work,” said one critic, according to The Daily Mail.
“Shut up, you don’t even live here! Mind your own business, we are doing alright,” said another, with someone else adding, “It’s easy to have an opinion when you’re not responsible.”
As The Daily Mail noted, the hosts of The Project also blasted Wilson, with Steve Price saying, “Not sure smug rock throwing from LA is the way to go for Wilson. I don’t think she’s done herself favors there, has she? Stupid opinion,” while Waleed Aly added, “The one thing I would say, I know a few Australians who live overseas, it seems to me most of them feel like that.”
“I think unless you’re here… The whole world thinks — they’ve never been through what we’ve been through. Like two different planets,” Aly continued. “We look at America and the UK — how could you live like that and through that? They do the same with us. It’s one of those situations.”
Panelist Peter Helliar took a sarcastic approach, saying, “I’m a bit sick of people not taking celebrities’ health advice seriously, to be honest. Next thing, people will be questioning the science behind some of [Gwyneth Paltrow’s] Goop products.”
As the New Zealand Herald explained, “This latest controversy comes after Wilson faced fierce criticism last year when she took a private jet to the Superbowl at the height of the pandemic, at a time when people were discouraged from moving around to watch the game.”
According to The New York Times, “simultaneous outbreaks of the coronavirus in several parts of the country, most notably in Sydney” have been “fueled by the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant.”
“We’ve got to hang in there,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. “We don’t have a choice. The pandemic is still upon us.”
The BBC reported on Wednesday that “Seven Australian cities are now in lockdown as authorities scramble to prevent the spread of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.”