Dedicated to spreading sickness and stupidity in a far more lasting way than a viewing of The Hot Chick can accomplish, Rob Schneider has spent the past several years as a very vocal opponent of vaccinations. As with Jenny McCarthy before him, this would seem to affect only people who get all of their medical advice from celebrities of the 1990s. However, Schneider’s views recently came to a far more public light thanks to his new gig as pitchman for State Farm Insurance. Like Hans and Franz, Schneider’s “Richmeister” character was recently drafted to help the agency sell the innovation of its “Discount Double Check” program by referencing decades-old Saturday Night Live skits—their presence a harrowing reminder that mortality encroaches upon everyone, so you’d better get some insurance.
Unfortunately for State Farm—a company that promotes immunization awareness as a means of preventing the spread of viral diseases that it definitely doesn’t want to pay for—Schneider has a long public history of anti-vaccination statements. For instance, the time he protested a California state bill that would have required parents to be informed of the risks before taking a philosophical exemption to vaccinations, with Schneider comparing them to both the Nuremberg Laws and the forced sterilization of the mentally retarded. Rob Schneider, the Robmeister, makin’ shitty analogies. Godwin’s Law-a-rama! Rob!
Shortly after the ads debuted, a social media campaign was launched by pseudoscience debunkers, who pointed out to State Farm that their relationship with Schneider could reflect poorly on them for reasons outside of comedy. And after arguing that “good neighbors” don’t foster the spread of diseases that were once all but eradicated—before celebrities regurgitating frequently debunked Internet garbage dovetailed with Obama-age anti-government paranoia—Schneider has now been dropped by the insurance agency.
“[Schneider’s] ad has unintentionally been used as a platform for discussion unrelated to the products and services we provide,” Phil Supple, State Farm’s erotically named director of public affairs told PR Week. “With that, we are working to remove the ad from our rotation at this time.” Supple did not hint as to who might be brought in to reassure its policyholders that it takes their wellbeing very seriously, as presumably Julia Sweeney has yet to return calls about bringing back Pat.
Meanwhile, though he’s directed supporters to the only appropriate forum for discussion on this topic, Schneider hasn’t offered any direct comment on being dropped from campaign—preferring, as always, to let his work speak for itself.