Rob Schneider Fires Back After State Farm Pulls Ad Over His Anti-Vaccination Views
The comedian quotes George Washington to suggest his freedom of speech is being infringed
Rob Schneider is using a Founding Father to fire back at State Farm after the insurance company pulled an ad featuring the comedian because of his anti-vaccination views.
"If the Freedom of Speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter," Schneider tweeted Tuesday, quoting George Washington.
On late Wednesday, he thanked his fans for well wishes.
"Thanks to all my supporters who believe as I do that parents should decide what's in the best interests of their child, not Gov't mandates," he tweeted.
Earlier, he also retweeted a link to a 2013 interview in which he railed against vaccines.
"The idea that vaccines don’t injure people is a fallacy," he said in the article. "Two billion dollars have been paid out to people who have been vaccine injured or died in the United States. This is a real thing."
PRWeek first reported State Farm's decision to drop the Schneider ad Monday. The company had been under pressure from pro-vaccination groups who attacked State Farm for using Schneider as a spokesman.
“State Farm advertising is intended to inform and entertain," State Farm said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "This particular ad has unintentionally been used as a platform for discussion unrelated to the products and services we provide. With that, we are working to remove the ad from our rotation at this time.”
Reps for Schneider did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The comedian has been outspoken in his belief that vaccines could lead to autism and that they should not be mandatory.
The anti-vaccination movement has been under the spotlight of late. A recent investigation published by THR found that many schools in Los Angeles' affluent West Side have vaccination rates experts say are dangerously low. Critics of the anti-vaccination movement say stars such as Schneider are partially responsible for lending a voice to the views.
The ad in question began airing in August. Below, see a video a pro-vaccination group made using the ad to criticize State Farm.
Sept. 24, 10:43 p.m. Updated with additional tweet.