Sometimes celebrities love to voice their opinions even when they don’t know what they’re talking about. Modern culture and the media could be to blame seeing as how much of the public is enamored with what celebrities say and do. However, Hollywood stars and starlets probably shouldn’t be taken seriously when it comes to science or medicine. Few of them are scientists or doctors. Nothing exemplifies this more than the stance an alarming number of celebrities have taken against vaccinations. Many believe that vaccinations are dangerous. That is simply not true. Others think that vaccinations for children should be up to the parents, but they never think about the harm that not vaccinating a child can do.
Some anti-vaxxers cling to a debunked and fraudulent study that linked vaccinations to autism. Unfortunately, choosing not to get vaccinated or have children not get vaccinated has led to an increase in diseases that were once under control and nearly eradicated. If a large population is vaccinated herd immunity forms, which can essentially wipe out a virus. If less people get vaccinated the virus can make a comeback, which is why there were measles outbreaks in the United States last year. Despite the science, many in Hollywood are still against vaccines. Here’s a look at some celebrities who have publicly spoken out against vaccinations or laws about vaccinations.
10 Selma Blair
Selma Blair is one of many celebrities who have spoken out about mandatory vaccinations for school children in California. In response to the California mandatory vaccination bill she Tweeted: “Parental choice is our right. Most vaccinate. Let us choose.”
She also spread the link to the petition urging Governor Jerry Brown to veto the bill on her Facebook page. She is one of many celebrities who say they are only in favor of letting parents choose and not against vaccines themselves.
9 Kirstie Alley
Kirstie Alley is against the new mandatory vaccination law in California, and when the bill was first proposed she displayed her outrage. Like most celebrities against the bill, she said she was not against vaccination itself but rather just for parents’ rights.
She Tweeted: “Im not ANTI vaccines but we MUST take responsibility 4 choosing which ones WE give OUR children & ourselves. They aren't ALL harmless.” [sic] Her outrage over the then bill didn’t end there. “NO on SB277...no no no...protect your rights to CHOOSE the vaccines your kids and YOU have...they are NOT all HARMLESS...Ur kids,Ur choice.” [sic]
8 Charlie Sheen
Jenny McCarthy may have absurdly criticized Charlie Sheen for not telling her about his HIV status when they were working on the show Two and a Half Men together, but the two actually have something in common. Sheen’s view on vaccines is somewhat strange considering the disclosure of his HIV status has given publicity to the continued effort of awareness and developing a vaccine for HIV.
In 2008 it was reported that Sheen no longer consented to the ongoing medical treatment of his children that he had with Denise Richards. It is widely speculated that this was because Richards had the children vaccinated.
7 Rob Schneider
Former SNL cast member Rob Schneider is so anti vaccine that he left an irate voicemail to California state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. He vowed to spend as much money as he could to fight the campaign for the proposed bill of mandatory vaccination for school children in California.
“He just has faulty information,” Gonzalez said in an interview with ABC News. “I told him I’d be more than happy to look at any study that’s a peer-review study, that’s scientific, to suggest the things that he was talking about. The problem is they don’t exist.” The bill became law this year.
6 Bill Maher
Bill Maher is usually a voice for common sense. He is normally a proponent of spreading truth and scientific facts. He has tirelessly fought against those that deny climate change and evolution, but it seems he is on the wrong side of science when it comes to vaccinations. Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson regularly appear on his show, which makes it so strange that Maher of all people would refuse to believe the science behind vaccinations. He has said that climate science is straightforward but that the science behind vaccines isn’t.
5 Jenna Elfman
Jenna Elfman of Dharma and Greg fame, has been very outspoken against California’s new mandatory vaccination law. She has claimed she is not anti vaccine, but instead she says, like a few others on our list, that she is opposed to taking away parents’ rights. She even circulated a petition against the proposed bill for the new law on her Facebook page. She urged her fans to sign it.
“There is NO situation in CA that requires a state-wide taking away of parents rights to choose what goes into their children's bodies,” she Tweeted. She is one of many celebrities who view the new law unfavorably.
4 Donald Trump
“A child went to get the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever. Got very very sick. Now is austistic,” [sic] said Trump during a recent GOP presidential candidate debate. Trump said he was not against vaccines, but still brought up an anecdote relating vaccines to autism and presented it as it were evidence of the claim. Ben Carson and Rand Paul, both of whom are doctors, gave surprisingly tepid responses to Trump’s story. Trump also once Tweeted: “I am being proven right about massive vaccinations – the doctors lied. Save our children & their future.”
3 Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone decided not to vaccinate her child. She believes that a healthy diet and lifestyle will prevent illnesses, and says her son has never been sick. “There is increasing anecdotal evidence from doctors who have gotten distressed phones calls from parents claiming their child was ‘never the same’ after receiving a vaccine,” she wrote in her book.
Silverstone prefers the natural approach and feeds her son miso soup for breakfast. “Because his body is a super-clean, healthy machine it can defend itself and flush out all the nasty stuff much more quickly than a baby whose diet isn't as kind,” said Silverstone. “
2 Jim Carrey
It seems that Jenny McCarthy’s views on vaccinations may have rubbed off on her ex-boyfriend Jim Carrey. Carrey has very loudly voiced his displeasure with the new law that makes vaccinations mandatory for children attending public school in California unless they have a medical reason for exemption. Parents’ personal beliefs are no longer a reason to not have a child vaccinated in California.
Carrey Tweeted: “I am not anti-vaccine. I am anti-thimerosal, anti-mercury. They have taken some of the mercury laden thimerosal out of vaccines. NOT ALL!” Scientists and doctors quickly pointed out that these additives in vaccines are safe and that he was spreading misinformation.
1 Jenny McCarthy
The most outspoken celebrity opponent of vaccinations is by far Jenny McCarthy. Her son was diagnosed with autism and she believes that vaccinations were the cause. In the past, she has tirelessly tried to link autism to vaccinations. McCarthy has claimed lately that she is not anti vaccine, but rather just wanted safe vaccines.
Unfortunately, years of spreading misinformation has resulted in potentially irreparable damage, and the anti vaccine movement has grown stronger. There are many people who believed what McCarthy said about links between autism and the MMR vaccination, and that might never change in our lifetime.