Amanda Peet says it like it is

10 Jul

From Cookiemag.

Peet’s analytical urges are comical when she’s talking about kids’ gear, but not when she’s discussing a subject she feels is among today’s most pressing public-health issues: infant vaccinations. “As soon as I was pregnant, the neuroses kicked in,” says Peet, 36, who is married to screenwriter David Benioff. She began calling her older sister’s husband, a Philadelphia pediatrician, “every five minutes” with all kinds of questions, especially about shots. “I asked him, ‘Why are all of these necessary? Why are some people staggering them?’?” Eventually her brother-in-law arranged a series of phone calls between Peet and his own mentor, Paul Offit, M.D., who is chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, and a board member of Every Child by Two, a pro-vaccine organization cofounded in 1991 by former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

“Once we had spoken, I was shocked at the amount of misinformation floating around, particularly in Hollywood,” says Peet, who quickly boned up on the hot-button controversies surrounding the topic, including the unproven link between certain vaccines and autism; the safety of preservatives like mercury-based thimerosal; and the fear that the relatively high number of shots kids receive today can overwhelm young immune systems. Her conclusion? Well, not only is Frankie up-to-date on her vaccines (with no staggering), but her mom will soon appear in public-service announcements for Every Child by Two. “I buy 99 percent organic food for Frankie, and I don’t like to give her medicine or put sunscreen on her,” says Peet. “But now that I’ve done my research, vaccines do not concern me.” What does concern her is the growing number of unvaccinated children who are benefiting from the “shield” created by the inoculated—we are protected from viruses only if everyone, or most everyone, is immunized: “Frankly, I feel that parents who don’t vaccinate their children are parasites.

Amanda Peet

27 Responses to “Amanda Peet says it like it is”

  1. Ms. Clark July 10, 2008 at 21:18 #

    Gee whiz. Amanda Peet’s about 10 times prettier than that aging ex-playboy centerfold ever was. Doesn’t have a background of “acting” in extremely poorly reviewed movies. Neither has she had to make a buck by eating vomit on camera or having her picture taken sitting on a toilet with her britches down around her ankles. And I would guess that Peet’s IQ is about 50 points higher than the Indigo-mom’s.

    Peet wouldn’t be leading any rallies most likely, but maybe she can appear on Good Morning America and whoop some sense back into the media idiots who with gullibility buy whatever teh antivax bimbo is selling this week, whether it’s green or indigo.

  2. Sullivan July 10, 2008 at 21:18 #

    Ms. Peet. Thanks. I know you are about to get some unpleasant responses from some segments of the “autism community”. Know that from this segment, your words and your bravery are much appreciated.

  3. Ms. Clark July 10, 2008 at 21:31 #

    Video, too.

  4. Leila July 10, 2008 at 21:38 #

    Amanda Peet is gorgeous and smart. I hope the idiots at AoA don’t start some kind of bullying campaign against her.

  5. California mom July 11, 2008 at 00:48 #

    Oh yeah?

    Well wait until Dr. Jay Gordon gets hold of Amanda Peet, he’s got a few things to say to her thanks to suggestions from the JennyDCRally Yahoo Group!!

    “I believe I may have an opportunity to speak directly with Ms. Peet in
    the verynear future. You all were very helpful to me in your
    suggestions for my speech at the D.C. March. May I ask for pithy,
    very polite thoughts I might express to her?

    Of course, I know what I’d like to say: “Women lucky enough to have
    good bone structure and good connections and get roles in high profile
    movies are parasites on the rest of the theatrical community.”

    I will not say that . . .

    Tempting, though, isn’t it?


    OK, so Dr. Gordon sounds like he has a crush on Amanda Peet, or maybe he’s considering getting some cheekbone implants so he can take a role in daytime tv, but still, he’s so brave.

  6. Areader July 11, 2008 at 01:12 #

    Suggestions for Dr. Jay from the JennyDCRally grouplings:

    “Someone should send this tidbit of info to Perez Hilton. Maybe she would get the pen*s drawn on her picture for being such nasty person.

    As degrading as this quote is, I am not surprised as I have heard that she is very obnoxious person.


    PS Hope this does not offend but if you know perez you know what I am talking about! He is my guilty pleasure”

    “Dr. Gordon:

    Lock her in a room with Jenny McCarthy for about 5 minutes! Jenny will kick her a**!

    They don’t call Lisa Ackerman’s little gang “tacky moms” for nothing.

  7. amy July 11, 2008 at 03:32 #

    Amanda – thank you thank you for speaking out for vaccines. Having my son hospitalized twice for influenza as a baby made me realize how we take life-saving vaccines for granted. I hear all the hullabaloo about vaccines causing autism and wonder how it is that people are so unwilling to believe in science. If study after study says it is not true, yet people don’t trust in science- what or who do we trust instead – an ex playboy centerfold with a degree from the university of google…what is this world coming to! thank god for the educated actresses of this world like Amanda who are willing to stand up for our children!

  8. Bev July 11, 2008 at 05:34 #

    An Anti-Jen?

  9. Ms. Clark July 11, 2008 at 05:43 #

    (laughing) yup. Pretty much a cure for the common Jenny.

  10. Science Mom July 11, 2008 at 14:07 #

    As much as I enjoy seeing Jenny countered by a ‘peer’; I wish that celebrities would just stay far away from such issues. I can safely say that those of us who toil in the lab and field will be happy to refrain from hobbying as movie critics.

  11. Kev July 11, 2008 at 15:00 #

    Science Mom – I agree with you when it comes to autism. Something that is medically and scientifically poorly understood should not become the plaything of celebs.

    However, I think something that is very well understood (such as the obvious benefits of vaccination) should be shouted from the rooftops by all.

  12. KRA July 11, 2008 at 23:58 #

    Thanks for being reasonable in a time when reason has gone a the window. Be strong while the wolves attack! You have many who support you, Amanda. Know that in the end you do have science on your side and you are standing up for ration and reason and may very well save lives.

  13. dr glasser July 12, 2008 at 16:50 #

    I am a pediatrician who works everyday to promote on time vaccination of children in a state that ranks 50/50 in the US for it. Our autism rates are no higher than anywhere else as far as we know so what does that say about the link between vaccines and autism? I have to fight against the tide of the antivaccine campaign and the perpetual challenges of lack of proper insurance reimbursements for them. Despite all of it we soldier on. People better hope the doctors don’t get tired of it all and quit. Then, when outbreaks of disease occur regularly and children and adults start to get really sick and some die, maybe Miss McCarthy, her lapdog Dr Gordon, and Larry King, can all dig deep into their money-laden pockets and pony up the cash to pay for the disaster they have contributed to. I sure hope they’re saving their money…because these days are going to come soon if things don’t change. What should really happen is that Hollywood should poke its nose out of these issues and back into what they do best (some clearly do better than others). As for Ms Peet, if she is going to help educate people instead of obfuscate (as McCarthy and her cult does), that is her choice and right as a concerned citizen. More power to her if she chooses to get involved.

  14. Ms. Clark July 12, 2008 at 20:52 #

    Dr. Glasser, some of us are working on an idea to name outbreaks and epidemics of deadly disease after prominent people who helped to cause the outbreaks. Sort of like other natural disasters are named.

    Feel free to name any of your local outbreaks with titles like, “measles disaster Jenny” or “deadly whooping cough outbreak Jay”. It won’t bring back dead babies and adults but it feels a little better than doing nothing but feel bad over what they are getting away with.

    I feel bad for the pediatricians and family doctors who have to waste so much time arguing against nonsense that patients’ parents have picked up from Jay Gordon or Jenny on some talk show or from something that Gordon or McCarthy have sold for their own profit.

  15. Krystal - momofautism July 16, 2008 at 16:13 #

    I am writing just to say that I am neither against vaccinations nor
    against those that choose not to vaccinate.

    I prefer to spread apart the vaccines for my children, not because I
    think that they cause autism, because in my case 5 children with
    autism seems to be more of a genetic link than a vaccine link. I
    choose my vaccination stance on the fact that there are so many
    vaccines being given to children so quickly and many do contain
    ingredients that I never thought would be placed into the body of a

    Everyone has the right to their opinions and I do not think that we
    should be fighting eachother on what we think causes autism or not
    because everyone is going to have their own opinion. Instead of trying
    to fight the world for things that we do not have 100% proof of, we
    need to fight to get the better education and services our children

    As far as Ms. Peet’s comments – I do not agree with the fact that she
    called some parents parasites. These are the same people who would pay
    to see her movies and buy the DVD’s afterwards. She is placing herself
    in the limelight in a negative light attacking people without real
    investigation as to vaccines except from one source.

    I did my homeowrk first and I know vaccines are important so I do give
    them to my children – I just decided to spread them apart so that
    there is not so much going into their bodies at a time.

    We are all fighting for one cause – the futures of our children – the
    least we can do is be respectful of eachother.

  16. Sullivan July 16, 2008 at 17:18 #

    As far as Ms. Peet’s comments – I do not agree with the fact that she called some parents parasites. These are the same people who would pay to see her movies and buy the DVD’s afterwards. She is placing herself in the limelight in a negative light attacking people without real investigation as to vaccines except from one source.

    Which brings up an interesting comparison. Amanda Peet is actually risking losing money by stepping forward. She did this right before the opening of a big budget movie.

    Consider if events were switched. Consider if Amanda Peet did this as a part of a book tour, where her book that she would profit from discussed vaccines.

    Some people would be even more angered.

    The fact that she would step forward gives some credibility to her message. It looks like she is doing this because she wants to make a difference in the world.

  17. Krystal - momofautism July 16, 2008 at 17:30 #

    Sullivan (by the way my son loves that character!!)

    I am not stating that she does not want to make a difference – I just think that the words she used were wrong. I am glad that people are starting to voice opinions and that there is a debate going on because debates lead to investigations which lead to research which lead to answers.

    I just think that everyone in this battle deserves some respect because we are all trying to make a difference in our own ways based upon our own research. We need to unite and work together and not fight about it all.

    There is not only one reason for autism just as there is not one reason for cancer, or aids, or epilepsy, etc.

    There are environmental, genetic, social, factors in all of these disorders and illnesses. But these individuals are not fighting eachother like the autism community is.

    Heck – in my family there was no link to breast cancer until my aunt got breast cancer from a chemical she was exposed to when she was younger – so am I going to fight those that have genetic links to breast cancer because an outside factor contributed to the cancer of my aunt as this is the only possible link to cancer? No!! There are many possible reasons for cancer just as there are for autism.

    I applaud Ms. Peet for coming forward but I do not agree with the choice of words she has used or the fact that she has not stated that she has done other research besides her sole contact of Dr. Offit.

    I would just like to see her offer a more well-rounded opinion on the subject, not just one from one source.

  18. Susan McDermott July 16, 2008 at 21:02 #

    I am not one to “blog”, but felt this issue deserved further comment. I am a mother of two autistic children, who daily face challenges with their immune system. Clearly, genetics play a role as not all children have similar reactions. However, vaccines also played a role in their autism. (Note that I did not say “caused their autism” – I wrote “played a role in their autism”.) Both my children reacted negatively to their vaccines, particularly my daughter whose autism ended up being more severe. I am a lawyer and have my Masters in Law. My husband is a Professional Engineer. We are well educated and have researched both sides of this issue thoroughly. We did not rely only on what others told us. In addition, our doctor agrees with us with respect to vaccines having contributed to our children’s autism. Contrary to what Ms. Peet has suggested, there is science to support both sides of the vaccine debate. Certainly no one side has yet ruled out anything with respect to autism. Dr. Bernadine Healy, former Director of the National Institutes for Health, recently stated that in fact it is “biologically plausible” that a link could exist between autism and vaccines. Clearly, there are as yet no definitive answers and further research is needed. Ms. Peet certainly has the right to do her own research and to have her own opinion – and to express that opinion. I do not in any way criticize her for expressing her opinion or for vaccinating her child. However, she crossed the line by referring to those who disagree with her on the issue of vaccines as “parasites”. That is entirely inappropriate and insulting to those families who work so hard to help their biomedically fragile children. It has long been recognized that vaccines are not safe for everyone. Those who are allergic to eggs or who have undergone cancer treatment are but two examples of those who can not receive vaccines. Why, then, should we be surprised that there may be other children out there with hidden immune issues that affect their ability to tolerate vaccines? By all means, vaccinate your child if you have done the research and feel comfortable doing so. Do not, however, condemn me before you have done ALL the research and walked a mile in my shoes. I was a big fan of Amanda Peet, particularly Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but will no longer support her work. I do not encourage or condone any nasty comments to Ms. Peet, but one could argue that she started the name-calling. If she is alarmed at some of the negative or perceived threatening remarks, perhaps she should apologize to those families she has so greatly insulted.

  19. Krystal - momofautism July 16, 2008 at 21:16 #

    Susan – I like how you put it!!! Thank you for being so calm about it.

    I do believe that there is some form of link with autism and vaccines based upon research – as for my children, i used to live by the mandated schedule but now I have my own because unfortunately in my state, if it is not a religious reason, children must be vaccinated in order to attend school and to get a waiver is nearly impossible so I choose to delay the vaccinations.

    I just wish that there was some form of making them cleaner and actually healthier.

    Did you hear that in Argentina Glaxo is conducting vaccine trials in which 15 infants have already died? There are so many adverse affects and before anyone choses to do anything medically to their children – they must do their research – it is their responsibility as parents.

  20. Dedj July 16, 2008 at 21:48 #

    Yes, people who claim ‘there is science for both sides’ usually roam from being dismissive, arrogant, condescending, smug, self-aggrandising, all the way to stating outright desire to see many of the prominent pro-vax people hurt.

    It’s extremely rare to see the same old arguements put forth with civility rather than crimson-faced diatribe.

    Well done.

  21. Susan McDermott July 16, 2008 at 22:55 #

    Thank you, Dedj and Krystal.

  22. Sullivan July 17, 2008 at 00:35 #

    …or the fact that she has not stated that she has done other research besides her sole contact of Dr. Offit.

    That’s a ‘fact’? And you know this how? How about the fact that she says she was getting scared by what she heard about vaccines? Doesn’t that mean that she looked into both sides of this? What about the fact that her brother in law (also a medical doctor) also gave her advice?

    Just because someone came to the conclusion that the vaccine/autism concept isn’t valid doesn’t mean they didn’t consider both sides.

  23. Sullivan July 17, 2008 at 01:19 #

    I don’t see “parasites” as name calling. Sorry, it is a fairly accurate description of some of the people who avoid vaccination.

    People are gaining a benefit from society–herd immunity–without contributing to building that same benefit.

    Certainly there are people who should not be vaccinated. There is a regular poster to this blog with just such a child. Those are the people we need to protect with herd immunity.

    But people who avoid vaccines due to the idea that they cause autism are not in the same league at all.

    Now, as to who started the name calling….hmmm, she talked to Dr. Paul Offit. Surely one might conclude that there has been name calling pointed at him since before Amanda Peet came forward?

    If I need to remind myself of just how ugly the language can get in this discussion, I can always find an example with one of the blogs that supports the idea that autism and vaccines are linked.

  24. Kev July 17, 2008 at 08:08 #


    I find aspects of your comment troubling. The continued reliance on Bernadine Healy for instance. Why would you try and bolster your position by quoting a woman who was/is a paid shill for Philip Morris?

    The statement that there is science to support the idea vaccines cause/contribute to autism is equally troubling, given that there is none. Maybe I am wrong – could you maybe cite the science you have in mind?

    Like Sullivan, I don’t have any issue with the word ‘parasite’. Ensuring one’s child benefits from herd immunity whilst refusing to contribute to it seems an almost textbook definition of parasitic behaviour to me. I don’t think it was meant as an insult, merely as an accurate description of behaviour. If people choose to interpret it as an insult, that would be their issue.


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