Bad news, friends. The writer of Shrek, Aladdin, and the infinite number of Pirates of the Caribbean movies is an anti-vaxxer. Not only is he an anti-vaxxer, but he thinks that the label ‘anti-vaxxer’ is akin to the n-word.
It all started when TV writer Julie Benson posted a tweet encouraging people to contribute to vaccination efforts. An understandable request, given that things like a measles outbreak at Disneyland have happened in Benson’s home of California.
Terry Rossio didn’t think it was reasonable, however. The writer behind Shrek responded with this:
“My heart goes out to all the parents of vaccine damaged children, who have to not only endure the sadness of their loss, but also the vitriol of ill-informed and insensitive people (such as those here). Anti-Vax is equivalent to calling someone a n***** and makes as little sense.”
People were quick to point out that the comparison was offensive and illogical, considering anti-vaxxers have never been enslaved, degraded and discriminated against the way black people have been.
Rossio’s issue with people like Benson seems to be their promotion of “intentionally hurtful ideas, ill-founded medical advice, stereotypical labelling, and insensitivity to injured children and parents”.
“Do you realise that you are using the equivalent of the ‘n-word’ in promoting memes that tag people as ‘anti-vax’? Do you realise that the same collectivist stereotyping lies behind belittling any groups with a label? Do you have no feelings for vaccine damaged kids and parents?”
While vaccine injuries are a thing, much like adverse reactions to anaesthesia or everyday medicines are a thing, the ‘vaccine injuries’ Rossio is talking about are presumably things like autism.
The idea of a link between vaccines and autism has been debunked dozens of times since it was first floated by disgraced former doctor Andrew Wakefield in 1998, but the notion persists in certain circles. Rossio isn’t even the only person in Hollywood with these views – Jenny McCarthy is famous for her belief in a link between vaccines and autism.
Fortunately, the screenwriter behind Shrek and Aladdin isn’t particularly influential, but I’m sure some anti-vaxxers will feel validated that a D-list celebrity has taken up their cause.
Rossio has recently been hired to write the Jonny Quest film for Warner Brothers, which is set to be directed by Lego Batman director Chris McKay. Weirdly, the character of Jonny Quest is the son of a scientist; I wonder what Jonny or his dad think about someone who denies basic scientific facts?
We know that Shrek is pro-vaccine, though, so there’s that.