State Farm Drops Rob Schneider Ad Over Anti-Vaccine Views
State Farm is pulling an ad featuring Rob Schneider after a social media campaign drew attention to the comedian's anti-vaccination views and called on State Farm to drop him as a spokesperson.
The spot, starring Schneider as his classic "Richmeister" character from Saturday Night Live, was met with backlash from pro-science groups, who called on the public to call their State Farm agents, post on the company's Facebook page, and tweet their protests. "State Farm provides health insurance, and nothing ensures public health more than getting vaccinated," a video made for the campaign states.
In 2012, Schneider publicly lobbied against a California law requiring parents to meet with a physician before opting out of vaccines for their children, citing the widely discredited theory that vaccines cause autism.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, State Farm said, "This particular ad has unintentionally been used as a platform for discussion unrelated to the products and services we provide. With that, we are working to remove the ad from our rotation at this time.”
In response, Schneider tweeted, "'If the Freedom of Speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter,' George Washington."
Watch the video from the anti-Schneider campaign: