The Yellowstone Star Who Is Causing A Stir With His Views On Vaccines

Celebrities who speak out against the COVID-19 vaccine have historically come under widespread backlash. Perhaps no one knows this better currently than Joe Rogan. After espousing on his popular Spotify podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience" that "if you're a healthy person and you're exercising all the time and you're young and you're eating well, I don't think you need to worry about [the vaccine]" (via Media Matters), Rogan faced criticism from the media, medical professionals, and the general public alike. Artists such as Joni Mitchell pulled their music from Spotify in protest, and an open letter signed by 720 doctors, scientists and educators called for Rogan's cancellation from the streaming service. 

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is similarly aware of critics after many believed he misled the public about his vaccination status. Telling reporters in Summer 2021 that he had been "immunized" against COVID-19, it turned out the pro athlete was not vaccinated (by choice), and then contracted coronavirus in November. The controversy led Rodgers to appear on "The Pat McAfee Show" a few days after his test results were revealed, with Rodgers telling the WWE commentator that he instead sought out alternative treatments to the vaccine, and thanked Rogan for his advice on the matter (via Yahoo!).

Clearly, the COVID-19 vaccine is a topic that will continue to divide, as another star has stuck to his guns on receiving (or rather, not receiving) his.

Forrie J. Smith doesn't believe in vaccines

Despite him and "Yellowstone" castmates receiving a nomination for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series at this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards, series regular Forrie J. Smith will be skipping the ceremony due to its COVID-19 vaccination rules. According to Variety, show protocol dictates all attendees must present a proof of vaccination — and that is where Smith has drawn the line. 

In a since-deleted Instagram video, the actor elaborated on his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. "I want to apologize to y'all for not being at the Screen Actors Guild Awards," Smith explained to his followers in the video (via Variety). "I mean no offense to anyone. I'm not vaccinated, and it's a requirement to be vaccinated." The actor continued, "I'm not vaccinated, I will not get vaccinated. I haven't been vaccinated since I was a little kid. I don't vaccinate my dogs, I don't vaccinate my horses. I've never had a flu shot. I never will. I believe they compromise your immunities." He then doubled down, adding, "It's just my beliefs. I just don't believe in that stuff. Whatever."

Given that this nomination is the first major awards recognition for "Yellowstone," it seems a bit sad that Smith will be missing out.