Jim Carrey had himself a good solid multi-part Twitter meltdown on Wednesday, ranting about vaccines containing harmful levels of thimerosal, an organic compound that contains mercury. (They don’t.) Carrey got his non-facts from a documentary called Trace Amounts, which, as the Hollywood Reporter points out, has been aggressively and effectively marketed to celebrities.

THR’s Gary Baum writes today about the secret marketing campaign for Trace Amounts, a 2014 movie by Eric Gladen, a civil engineer who says he was sickened by a tetanus shot. The movie was screened at private homes for celebrities the filmmakers thought might be amenable to their message: “These events have targeted executives and celebrities – think Alicia Silverstone, Kirstie Alley and Adrian Grenier – known for harboring particular concern for the environment or establishment medical practices.”

It worked: besides Carrey, Danny Masterson, Ed Begley Jr. and Cindy Crawford have all tweeted about the movie, and it seems to have dovetailed nicely into anti-SB 277 efforts, the bill that just closed the wide personal exemption loophole in California vaccination laws.

During his Twitter screed, Carrey also used photos of children he implied were “vaccine-injured.” Except they aren’t: as Viriginia Hughes at BuzzFeed reports, one child he used a photo of, a little boy named Alex, actually has a genetic syndrome called tuberous sclerosis. Alex, like many kids with TSC, also has autism. None of this has anything to do with vaccines. His mom, Karen Echols, told Hughes: “Jim Carrey has a huge platform — a huge following — and is misrepresenting my son’s image by attaching it to his anti-vax rant.”

A Dallas pediatrician named Vincent Iannelli has also pointed out on Twitter that Carrey used stock photos for two of his other supposed “vaccine-injured” child examples:

Carrey removed Alex’s image from his tweet after Echols mother tweeted at him. It now displays this way:

By the time Alex’s photo was removed, the tweet had been re-tweeted more than 600 times.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.

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