What Maureen McCormick Wants You to Know About the Brady Bunch Measles Meme
Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia on The Brady Bunch, has spoken out against anti-vaxxers, who are using an episode of the sitcom McCormick starred in to further their agenda.
The episode is called "Is There a Doctor in the House?" and it features Brady Bunch characters coming down with measles. McCormick told NPR that she doesn't like the fact that the beloved sitcom is being used to promote anti-vaccination ideology.
NPR reports that McCormick was “furious” when she found out that memes featuring her character in that episode were being circulated by an anti-vaccination Facebook group.
“I was really concerned with that and wanted to get to the bottom of that because I was never contacted,” McCormick told NPR. “I think it’s really wrong when people use people’s images today to promote whatever they want to promote and the person’s image they’re using they haven’t asked or they have no idea where they stand on the issue.” McCormick added that she is pro-vaccination. “As a mother, my daughter was vaccinated,” she said.
Additionally, she told NPR that her personal experience with measles was nothing like the depiction of measles in that episode of The Brady Bunch. “Having the measles was not a fun thing. I remember it spread through my family.”
McCormick isn’t the only one upset about the use of The Brady Bunch episode to promote the anti-vaccination movement. Lloyd J. Schwartz, the son of Sherwood Schwartz, who created The Brady Bunch, said his deceased father would not appreciate what’s happening with the “Is There a Doctor in the House?” episode. “Dad would be sorry because he believed in vaccination—had all of his kids vaccinated,” Schwartz told NPR.
McCormick’s remarks come at a time when measles outbreaks are shaking communities across the U.S. According to the CDC, as of Friday, 704 “individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 22 states” this year. “This is an increase of 78 cases from the previous week. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000,” the CDC says.
States in which measles cases have been reported this year are: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.
Anti-vaxxers tend to believe that the MMR vaccine, which protects people from measles, mumps, and rubella, is dangerous or not worth giving their children. However, the CDC says, “The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.”