'Shame on you': KJ Apa slammed for starring in Michael Bay's 'tasteless' COVID-19 movie Songbird

Kiwi actor KJ Apa has prompted backlash from his own fans for his starring role in Michael Bay's new COVID-19 pandemic inspired film Songbird

The trailer for the upcoming flick, in which the world has been ravaged by the mutated 'COVID-23' virus after four years of lockdown, has been dubbed "tasteless", "insensitive" and accused of "capitalising on fear". 

"Absolutely disgusting that this was allowed to come out," one YouTube comment read. 

"Thank you for making people who are freaking out about COVID-19 even more paranoid," said another, prompting one person to reply: "My anxiety is through the roof, I don't need this right now." 

One commenter claimed the film could add to the stream of "misinformation and bad messaging" that is "already killing people". 

"Let's add literal fiction into the pot and see if that helps with public health strategies. Was that the plan here?" 

"Capitalising off a deadly pandemic we are currently in the midst of is all kinds of f**ked up," another comment read. 

Riverdale star Apa, who plays a "fearless courier" immune to the deadly virus in the movie, shared the Songbird trailer on his Instagram page, saying there were "so many incredible things about this movie".  

"It was the first movie back to shoot in Los Angeles during quarantine. Very much in an unknown territory and paving the way for production safety protocols. It was strange at times - especially while shooting a movie about the pandemic," he captioned the clip. 

"Can't wait for you guys to see!"

Many of the Auckland-born actor's followers questioned Apa's involvement. 

"KJ I love you, but this is so fear-based," one Instagram user wrote. 

"Can't even let the bodies get cold before they cash in on the tragedy. Be ashamed to be a part of this," said another. 

"This is the lowest of the low making a film relating to a current pandemic. Millions of people's lives have been affected by COVID... this is going to cause unnecessary stress and a negative impact on people's mental health. Shame on you," wrote a third. 

Songbird is expected to be released in 2021.