It has not been an especially good time Online for actress Jessica Biel of late, as she’s come under fire in the last few days for allegations—first reported by our colleagues over at Jezebel—that she was taking a cue from husband Justin Timberlake and trying to bring sexy back. (Sexy, in this case, being our new nickname for the measles.) But let’s be clear: Jessica Biel is not an anti-vaxxer, as she’d tell you herself, provided you were checking out her ’gram:
No, Biel is simply a lobbyist, a politically conscious actor who just happens to be (just for right now, you understand) throwing her semi-considerable star-power behind an organization responsible for propagating false claims about the allegedly—i.e., scientifically disproven—“harmful” effects of vaccines. Specifically, she was seen at the California State House yesterday alongside Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental activist who is also not an anti-vaxxer, even though he spends a whole lot of time talking about how bad and dangerous vaccines are. (No one is an anti-vaxxer, is what we’re learning today.)
Together, these two avowed vaccination fans went around the State House yesterday, talking to legislators about why they shouldn’t support a bill designed to make it harder for people to get out of giving their kids vaccines. (But, you know: In a friendly, pro-vaccine sort of way!) Per another Jezebel piece, that allegedly included Biel talking about how she went to multiple doctors, hunting for one who would let her get away with taking her kid off a regular, well-tested vaccine schedule—i.e., exactly the sort of “doctor shopping” that the bill in question, SB 276, is supposed to prevent. (Its author says he wrote it because parents have allegedly been using bogus medical exemptions to get around the state’s decision to shut down “personal belief” vaccine exemptions back in 2015.) Which is definitely the sort of behavior you pursue when you are extremely in favor of ideas like herd immunity, shared social responsibility, and us not all dying of an 18th century disease because some dumbfuck named Andrew Wakefield got a piece of baseless “research” past the reviewers of a prestigious medical journal lo these 20 years ago.
For what it’s worth, the CDC does maintain a list of people who should receive medical exemptions from vaccination—and who still would be able to, under the new California law. It’s filled with issues like severe allergies, poorly-functioning immune systems, and tuberculosis; it leaves relatively little room for “I kind of sort of heard they might be bad during an I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry memorial meet-and-greet.”
Biel isn’t the only Hollywood figure to have associated herself with Kennedy and his particular brand of not-an-anti-vaxxer anti-vaccine campaigning over the years, though. He also popped up a few years back with Robert De Niro (not an anti-vaxxer), with the two of them offering a joint prize to anyone who could prove (or, you know, whatever) that a particular vaccine preservative was quantifiably, 100 percent safe. While searching around for other possible connections between Biel and De Niro, though, we came across a disturbing truth: Both starred (albeit in different segments) in Garry Marshall’s 2011 film New Year’s Eve. Obviously, this is an unsettling and highly suggestive fact.
We here at The A.V. Club would like to formally call upon the scientific community to launch an investigation into the effects of appearing in Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve on a human being’s susceptibility to John F. Kennedy Jr’s particular brand of anti-science bullshit. Given this one, wholly unscientific and anecdotal link, we can only assume that there’s a massive connection between the two factors, one that must be investigated, with a possible eye toward banning people from ever appearing in Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve again. Only once the link has been proven again and again—ideally on distressingly designed web sites and message boards with weird, teensy fonts—can our children ever truly be safe from this terrible and pressing threat. We’re not anti-Garry-Marshall’s-New-Year’s-Eve-ers, though; we just want to be sure that Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve is safe!