Jim Carrey Makes Up for Tweeting Autistic Boy's Photo Without Mom's Permission

Jim CarreyBy now, you've probably seen the Jim Carrey anti-vaccine rant shared 'round the world. The actor took to Twitter last week on the heels of California's decision to do away with personal-belief exemptions and caused a massive media stir when he tweeted a photo of an autistic child in an attempt to make a point about toxic substances in vaccinations. What you probably didn't see was Carrey's apology or how graciously it was accepted by that child's mother.

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The whole mess began when Carrey fired off a string of tweets asserting that vaccines still contain large amounts of mercury and are directly linked to autism. To bolster his points, he tweeted a picture of an autistic child who also suffers from tuberous sclerosis with a caption that read: "A trillion dollars buys a lot of expert opinions. Will it buy you? TOXIN FREE VACCINES, A REASONABLE REQUEST!"

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The problem -- other than the obvious pseudoscientific conspiracy theories --  was that Carrey didn't have permission to use the photo and the child's parents adamantly deny that his autism is in any way linked to vaccines. The boy's mom, Karen Echols, tweeted at Carrey to remove the photo and clear up any misconceptions. Surprisingly, Carrey complied with her request.

And, in a show of more grace than I could ever muster, the boy's mom accepted the apology and let bygones be bygones.

Carrey never did the shout-out for tuberous sclerosis awareness, but that's okay because the real hero in this situation is the mom. If I were put in a similar situation where some celebrity tried to exploit my child's illness for a cause I don't even support, I'd be beyond livid.

This mom was very gracious and showed a lot of poise. She could've resorted to attacking Carrey's absurd views or making further demands, but she didn't. She took the high road. She righted the wrong and left it at that.

Jim Carrey is hardly the first celebrity to use his platform to spread misinformation about vaccines. It's tempting to lash out at stars when they do this, but what this mom showed is that you can stand firm and be heard without resorting to baseless attacks. Perhaps Jim Carrey could remember that the next time he goes off on an absurd Internet rant.

How would you have responded to Carrey's apology?


Image via Tinseltown/shutterstock

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