17 Hollywood celebrities who leveraged their stardom to promote anti-vaccine disinformation

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Robert DeNiro. Credit: Getty Images
Robert DeNiro. Credit: Getty Images

While few of these individuals identify as anti-vaccine, they have either come out as not having vaccinated their children, are critical of mandatory vaccination or have endorsed such views, or have made dangerous and unproven claims about vaccines in general.

Alicia Silverstone: In her 2014 book… the Clueless actress (who has previously suggested that tampons cause infertility and that veganism can reduce the risk of miscarriage) was highly critical of vaccination, saying “there has not been a conclusive study of the negative effects of such a rigorous one-size-fits-all, shoot-’em-up schedule.”

Rob Schneider: The former SNL and Deuce Bigalow star has made numerous public statements lobbying against mandatory vaccination. In 2012, he cited the widely debunked belief that vaccines are linked to autism in his opposition to a California bill requiring parents get a signature from a physician to opt out of their child receiving vaccinations.

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Robert DeNiro: This one’s a heartbreaker: in 2017, the legendary actor (who has also publicly questioned whether vaccines are linked to autism and promoted the anti-vaccine film Vaxxed) partnered with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in a press conference for the World Mercury Project (now the Children’s Health Defense), a nonprofit organization known for its anti-vaccine stance. 

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