Target: Anne Sweeney, President of Disney/ABC Television Group
Goal: Don’t hire anti-vaccine activist to prominent television talk show position
Jenny McCarthy, an actress and former Playboy playmate who has used her fame to promote unscientific anti-vaccination views, has been hired to replace one of the hosts of network television show The View. Tell network officials at ABC that this hire promotes unscientific opinions with potentially deadly consequences for the children of people who are influenced by celebrities, and urge them to stop the hire immediately.
McCarthy is part of a movement among parents who choose not to vaccinate their children, which has resulted in preventable deaths among children from whooping cough and other illnesses. McCarthy has advocated against childhood vaccinations since the 2005 diagnosis of her 11-year-old son with autism, citing a now-withdrawn and scientifically disproved paper that claimed there was a link between vaccines and autism. There is no scientific basis for McCarthy’s claims, and yet she has not withdrawn her statements. Children whose parents opt not to vaccinate decrease herd immunity, which protects populations from communicable diseases.This leaves children who are not able to get vaccinated because of age or allergies open to infection and possible death.
ABC has been met with criticism for the hire by science writers and reporters worldwide, but the network has yet to respond. “Executives at ABC should be ashamed of themselves for offering McCarthy a regular platform on which she can peddle denialism and fear to the parents of young children who may have legitimate questions about vaccine safety,” wrote New Yorker science reporter Michael Specter. Television critic James Poniewozik wrote in Time that the hiring would “legitimize McCarthy’s dangerous anti-science.”
Tell ABC that it should not provide a platform for an anti-science advocate whose influence may result in parents deciding not to vaccinate their children, which would decrease herd immunity and potentially sicken or kill children. Sign the petition below to deny this anti-science activist a network television platform for her dangerous views.
Dear Ms. Sweeney,
I urge you to rescind your hire of anti-vaccination activist Jenny McCarthy to The View.
McCarthy has claimed a link between childhood vaccinations and autism. Her views have contributed to a dangerous movement against vaccination, resulting in children becoming sickened with and even killed by preventable illnesses.
Don’t give this anti-vaccine activist a platform for spreading her dangerous and unscientific views. Stop the hire, and don’t promote anti-science on network television.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: MingleMediaTVNetwork via Wikimedia Commons