A few days ago, State Farm Insurance cancelled Rob Schneider’s policy so to speak, which was only slightly less surprising than the fact that the company ever thought it was a good idea to resurrect a character he did 20 years ago on SNL in the first place. The reason its “Richmeister” commercial campaign was dropped had to do not with Schneider’s history of doing really shitty comedies like The Animal and Deuce Bigelow, but his history of vocally opposing childhood vaccinations.
Schneider’s the guy who once compared vaccination requirements at schools to the Nuremberg laws and who actually said unironically, “The efficacy of these shots have not been proven. And the toxicity of these things, we’re having more and more side effects. We’re having more and more autism.”
Now if Rob Schneider had been recruited to pitch, say, toilet bowl cleaner, it wouldn’t matter a whole lot what his views on childhood vaccines were since. Unless you’re Rob Schneider you’re probably not drawing any direct link between your toilet bowl and autism. But seeing as how the very reason for State Farm’s existence is to make money off keeping you and your family safe and healthy, you can see where those views might become a problem. So, yeah, Schneider doesn’t get a pass on this. He deserves to be shown the door.
In response to being dropped, Schneider immediately went home and Googled “Freedom of Speech + Founding Fathers + Quote” and came up with this gem:
“If the Freedom of Speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter,” George Washington
Of course, there’s no censorship here and playing the “free speech” card amounts to absolutely nothing in this case given that no one, least of all the government, has tried to shut Rob Schneider up. He’s entitled to say whatever the hell he wants about vaccines, but State Farm is under no obligation to cut him a paycheck while he’s doing it. His actions embarrass the company by opposing its mission and the company therefore gets to release him. No violation of free speech involved.
Right on cue Schneider’s fellow paranoiacs in the anti-vaxx community are rallying around him and promising to make State Farm pay for being in the pocket of Big Pharma. Or something.
A website called “Health Impact News,” which claims to run all the health news other media outlets “censor,” is decrying State Farm’s actions, with the author of one article personally stating that he’s going to dump the insurance company because it dumped Rob Schneider.
I am immediately dropping State Farm. I have used State Farm for my car and home insurance for about 10 years. I just sent an email to my agent, letting her know how disappointed I was to learn that State Farm had caved in to the pharmaceutical vaccine industry, an industry rife with fraud and corruption, simply because one of the actors in their advertisements sees fit to warn parents on the dangers of vaccines on his own time in his private life.
Again, the reason why what Schneider says and does in his “private life” matters here is that he’s recommending a course of action that’s diametrically opposed to the one endorsed by his employer.
In the end it comes down to this: when deciding whether or not to vaccinate your children against diseases that can not only kill him or her but other kids as well, you can listen to virtually every medical expert in the country, or you can listen to an ex-Playboy Bunny and the guy who made The Hot Chick.