Will autism-vaccine links hurt Jim Carrey, Mr. Popper’s Penguins? (Morning Read)

A healthcare backlash against Jim Carrey? I didn’t stop watching Tom Cruise movies because of his bizarre behavior and Scientology background. I didn’t stop listening to the Dixie Chicks after their 9/11 comments. But every time I see an ad for Mr. Popper’s Penguins I can’t get Jim Carrey’s ludicrous vaccine perspectives out of my head. And that cuts down on the chances I’ll take my kids to see the movie, too.

Unfortunately, opinions about medical research and science don’t have the show-stopping clout that religion or politics have. But maybe that time is changing. Carrey’s comments – teamed with those of Jenny McCarthy and other vaccine denialists – did more damage than the Dixie Chicks or Tom Cruise. Vaccinations dropped, exposure to mumps and other preventable diseases have increased in recent years.

Maybe that’s why it’s hard to get the Carrey-Popper-autism connection out of my head. This is a kids movie. Carrey’s vaccine statements did real damage to children.

Plus, the timing for Carrey couldn’t be worse. Bill Gates and the UK have just announced they’ll spend $2.3 billion to proliferate vaccinations worldwide.


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