Jim Carrey, you are part of the problem for us in the Autism Community

15 Jul

Years back Jim Carrey was and autism were mentioned together regularly in the news.  This was at the height of the vaccine misinformation campaign of his then partner, Jenny McCarthy.  Mr. Carrey went so far as to be a speaker at the “Green Our Vaccines” rally in Washington.  That was 2008. Since then the Green Our Vaccines as a movement has died, Jenny McCarthy has tried to distance herself from her very vocal stance on vaccines, and given that Mr. Carrey and Ms. McCarthy split, it seemed like we had seen the last of Mr. Carrey.

Until recently.

You see Mr. Carrey took offense to new legislation in California.  A bill that will roll back vaccine exemptions to where personal belief exemptions will no longer be accepted in the schools here.  In other words, for the most part one will now need an actual medical reason to avoid vaccination in order to register for public school.

Mr. Carrey took to twitter with his complaints about the new law.  All well and good, free speech and all.  But Mr. Carrey went too far. He decided to take pictures of kids in distress and the implication that this is what happens when you vaccinate your kids. One tweet read ““A trillion dollars buys a lot of expert opinions. Will it buy you? TOXIN FREE VACCINES, A REASONABLE REQUEST!”” and included a picture of an autistic kid (the other pictures he used appear to have been stock images). The story is discussed by Emily Willingham as Jim Carrey Unwittingly Brings Attention To Something Actually Linked To Autism

And Time Magazine in Jim Carrey Apologizes for Using Photo of Autistic Boy in Anti-Vaccination Tweet.

Because, to give him credit, Mr. Carrey did apologize to that family. (Ironically, it turns out that the kid was unvaccinated when he was first diagnosed autistic).

I harken back to Mr. Carrey’s time with the autism community (remember when Generation Rescue was tagged as “Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey’s Autism Organization”?). At one speech, probably the Green Our Vaccines Rally, Mr. Carrey made the pseduo-profound statement, “We are not the problem. The problem is the problem.”

So while I do appreciate Mr. Carrey stepping up and apologizing to one family, I do want to point out: Mr. Carrey, you were one of the problems for the autism community. And you apparently still are.

Ms. McCarthy introduced you to a closed group of people, a small sampling of the autism community. You likely came away thinking that they *are* the autism community, because that’s how they think of themselves.

They aren’t.

Most of us autism parents don’t subscribe to the vaccine causation idea. I can provide the links to multiple studies if you like, but it’s just the way things are.

And autism parents are not the autism community. One thing that Generation Rescue and like organizations have done is act like autistics are some sort of second class citizens in the community. Who do you think the community primarily is, autistics or parents?

Here’s the thing: the vaccine-causation idea is probably the most damaging notion to have hit the autism community. Did you hear about the “refrigerator mother” theory during your time at Generation Rescue? It’s second to the vaccine causation theory. Telling generations of disabled kids that they are less than they are, that they should be someone else, is damaging. Mr. Carrey, did you attend any of those parent conventions, like AutismOne? Perhaps you look at alternative medicine favorably. Well, the vaccine causation idea is used to sell “therapies” that aren’t close to being “alternative”. They are just wrong. And, frankly, abusive. Chemical castration of disabled children? This was promoted multiple times at conventions where your former partner was a keynote speaker. Fake diagnoses of mercury poisoning, followed by chelation? Same. And even a major promoter of chelation has a new study showing it doesn’t work. Did anyone tell you why the NIH autism/chelation trial was stopped? Because if you chelate test animals who do not have mercury intoxication, they go down cognitively. If the same happens in humans, tens of thousands of autistic children lost some IQ due to chelation. Think that one over, since GR started out as primarily an org promoting chelation. Daily bleach drinks and bleach enemas? That one is probably new since you dropped out. But, yep, that gets sold as a cure for “vaccine injury”. Shall I go on? Because I can. The autism=vaccine injury idea sells junk medicine which is subjected upon disabled children.

And you added your voice to the vaccine-causation idea.

You’ve apologized to one family. That took guts. Now step up and start making amends to the rest of us. Parents and, especially, autistics.


By Matt Carey

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4 Responses to “Jim Carrey, you are part of the problem for us in the Autism Community”

  1. chavisory July 15, 2015 at 17:12 #

    Although honestly, while most parents of autistic kids don’t believe in vaccine causation, and aren’t pursuing dangerous fringe treatments, I would fear to know what proportion very much do think of the “autism community” as primarily comprised of parents and family members, and not of autistic people.

    That is still entirely taken for granted in big swaths of the autism parent community.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 15, 2015 at 18:12 #

      Definitely true.

      The autism community is defined by many as parents. Autistics who can effectively self advocate are not “really” autistic in that world.

      Also, autistic means children as well. Adults, even those with diagnoses, don’t seem to count.

  2. Adam Worrall July 22, 2016 at 12:34 #

    I think Jim Carrey and EVERY Parent of autistic children need to realize that they may infact be on the spectrum with high functioning autism. I feel strongly that autism is massively under diagnosed because the adults who are high functioning can live normal lives without ever realizing they have autism. I personally have aspergers, I self-diagnosed myself after being told by a therapist that I may be on the spectrum several years earlier… Hearing someone tell you that when you are so high functioning, you blow it off never to revisit the idea that you may have something that most of society views as a mental disability.

    After I saw the symptoms, the way I live my life by eating the same things everyday, reusing the same clothes over and over, sleeping on the ground instead of my bed, feeling like i dont know whats going on when looking someone in the eyes, Saying the wrong thing NUMEROUS times in social settings without having any idea why it was wrong or why i said it. Feeling most disconnected from people the more i get to know them.

    I know for sure my dad has high functioning autism, and both of my brothers have it, theyre both high level programmers and my dad was in the military.

    Theres going to come a day when we can scan the brain and tell if someone is on the spectrum. I think youre going to be surprised when millions upon millions upon millions of Americans and probably 1-2 billion around the world are living with high functioning autism.

    The ONLY Autism a doctor recognizes is the severe debilitating cases. Millions of adults like Jim Carrey and probably his wife go undiagnosed because they can fake it through social situations in life as I have and millions of others have. Hes an actor after all.

    • Adam Worrall July 22, 2016 at 12:41 #

      And also I feel autism has to do with human evolution. I’m not saying that people with autism genetics are more evolved. I’m saying that it creates within the population people that think differently, creative, genius, whatever, they can invent, solve problems, push society to new areas of advancement. It could have something to do with evolution in those terms of survival, or maybe people with high functioning autism were great hunters and developed it that way.

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