State Farm insurance has yanked ads featuring comedian and “Saturday Night Live” alum Rob Schneider from rotation over his views on mandatory childhood vaccinations.
The 50-year-old star has been outspoken in his belief that vaccinations can be harmful to children, and even lobbied against a 2012 California bill that now requires parents to obtain a doctor’s approval before getting an exemption from state vaccination requirements.
“Today California passed a law to force parents to get a Doc’s permission to not vaccinate their kids or they can’t attend school! Nazis,” Schneider then tweeted.
Years later, vaccination proponents are still holding a grudge against the “Deuce Bigelow” actor, and recently a video blasting State Farm for using the actor as a spokesman.
“Rob Schneider is a vocal opponent against vaccinations, claiming they kill and cause permanent injuries,” the video states. “Diseases that were once all but eradicated are starting to reappear at alarming rates, thanks to a single, fraudulent, debunked study. It’s time to make a stand. Let State Farm know that you don’t agree with endangering public health. After all, State Farm provides health insurance, and nothing ensures public health more than getting vaccinated.”
The video continues: “If you have a State Farm policy, contact your agent and demand that someone who publically states dangerous opinions should not be a spokesperson for a health insurance company.”
In response to the video, State Farm has decided to pull Schneider’s commercial.
“State Farm advertising is intended to inform and entertain,” the company’s director of public affairs, Phil Supple, told E! News. “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.”
Following the insurance company’s decision, Schneider took to Twitter to voice his anger.
“‘If the Freedom of Speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter,’ George Washington,” he said, later adding: “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.”
In August, just weeks before the ad debuted, State Farm publically supported National Immunization Awareness Month.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.