Actor Zachary Levi has landed himself at the center of yet another controversy after tweeting in agreement that pharmaceutical giant "Pfizer is a real danger to the world".
He gave his response to entrepreneur Lyndon Wood's question on Twitter "Do you agree or not, that Pfizer is a real danger to the world?"
This has many fans and social media users pondering whether the Shazam actor is an ant-vaxxer. After all, Levi responded "Hardcore agree". His followers have taken it as an-vaccination stance.
Max Kennerly, a Twitter user, replied "For your own sake, please call Mark Ruffalo and beg him to help you understand how celebrities can be outspoken critics of corporate America, Big Pharma, and even Pfizer specifically without playing into antivax propaganda."
Julio Ponce agreed that pharmaceutical companies need better oversight. "You retweeting that, singling THAT one out, especially when most people who decry it are antiavx is disappointing."
Many people expressed disappointment while one called Levi stupid and said they wouldn't be getting a ticket to see the new Shazam movie. Some took to memes to troll the actor.
Largest Health Care Fraud
Levi may have based his hardcore agreement around the Justice Department's 2009 announcement of the largest health care fraud settlement in its history. The announcement said Pfizer and its subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc agreed to pay $2.3 billion – the largest health care fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice. The subsidiary agreed to plead guilty to a felony violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for misbranding Bextra (anti-inflammatory drug that was pulled from the market in 2005) with the intent to defraud or mislead.
Moreover, Pfizer agreed to pay $1 billion to resolve allegations under the civil False Claims Act that the company illegally promoted four drugs.
Takes on Pharma Companies
Levi, who received critical acclaim for starring as Chuck Bartowski in Chuck series, shared a clip of his appearance on the Shawn Stevenson podcast The Model Health Show. He highlighted his take on American pharmaceutical companies' advertisements. "We are carte blanche, 'Do whatever you want, do the imagery of a guy and a girl on a date having a...throw that football through that tire, be in that tub, whatever it is, you know, and barely talk about the side effects."