I’m loathe to defend anti-vaxxers, and indeed, strictly speaking, I am not going to defend those assholes. But there seems to be some confusion about the I Am Legend meme going around, as evidenced by this Gizmodo article about the screenwriter’s follow-up clarification: none of the people cited in the article actually appear to be making the claim that they believe I Am Legend is real. What they’re doing is using the film as a way of reflecting and clarifying their views on a contemporary societal issue — which, for the record, is what we’re supposed to do with art. The belief — at least, as represented by the people the articles (that one and this NY Times article) chose to cite — is that the film captures their fears about the vaccine. None of the people claim that they believe the film is real; they say that when they think about their concerns, they think about the events of that film.
Of course, as the articles do point out, this isn’t what happens in I Am Legend, either — the zombies were created by a virus, not a vaccine. So, their understanding of the film is shoddy at best. More importantly, their understanding of the COVID-19 vaccines, and indeed COVID-19, is shoddy at best, and ludicrously negligent and dangerous at worst. The vaccines are safe and necessary; fucking get them (and also wear your goddamned masks again since we still haven’t been able to get this shit right).
But, let’s not start making leaps and claiming that they think I Am Legend is real.¹ In our rush to score cheap, easy dunks on the other side, people keep misrepresenting their claims, and that doesn’t do anyone any good because it makes it far too easy for them to then turn around and criticize the criticisms right back — and, at that point, the criticism is kind of fair. The problem here is that they think the vaccine is dangerous and therefore won’t take it, and that this belief means that more people are going to get sick, and possibly die, from COVID than otherwise would, and we’ll spend longer in this mess than we should. That’s already a problematic and erroneous belief that deserves to, and can, be addressed on its own terms.
¹ As always, caveats: I’m sure at least one person thinks I Am Legend is real, and it’s possible that the actual quotes do suggest that. But, that belief is not in evidence in the actual articles.