A record-breaking 700 cases of the measles have been confirmed in 22 states since January. Though the epidemic continues to spread nationwide, anti-vaxxers are hellbent on standing their ground, arguing that vaccines are harmful and the measles aren’t as bad as they seem. Their most recent “evidence” for this inane assertion is a 1969 episode of The Brady Bunch.
Anti-vaxxers are citing an old episode of The Brady Bunch to support their argument that vaccinations are unnecessary and the measles aren’t really so bad.
In the episode “Is There a Doctor in the House?”, which aired back in 1969, all six of the Brady kids contract the measles.
The on-screen symptoms of the illness are, of course, downplayed and appear to be much milder than they actually are in real life. At one point in the episode, Marcia Brady even declares, “If you have to get sick, sure can’t beat the measles!”
In the real world of science and medicine, we know the measles is highly contagious and vaccines have been proven to prevent the sickness and halt widespread epidemics.
However, there are still people like on Dr. Toni Bark who oppose mandatory vaccinations and believe homeopathic remedies are the way to go. Bark is known for often citing the Brady Bunch episode in her arguments.
“You stayed home like the Brady Bunch show. You stayed home. You didn’t go to the doctor,” she says. “We never said, ‘Oh my God, your kid could die. Oh my God, this is a deadly disease.’ It’s become that.”
An Instagram account called @antivaxmomma also shared a clip of the sitcom in an attempt to discredit the current measles outbreak.
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I’m a 90’s kid so PARDON ME for not being scared of the fucking MEASLES ? I know most of you pro-vaxxers have no clue who the #BradyBunch is cuz you’re all anime-loving 12 year olds who aren’t even old enough to have IG, but THIS IS WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN I WAS GROWING UP ! We ALL got vaccinated & we all STILL got measles or chickenpox (cuz vaccines don’t work) & we ALL are ALIVE ! ? as a matter of fact, if you DIDN’T get measles or chickenpox yet, YOU WERE THE WEIRD KID ? I remember when I was young, EVERYBODY knew the few kids who didn’t get them already BY NAME ? ohh how the times have changed ! During the 70’s & 80’s there were so many supportive commercials & books to make you feel better about having measles & to help understand how completely normal it is, PLUS you got a few days off of school & (the best part) you confer LIFETIME IMMUNITY so you’ll NEVER get them again ! Now it’s the deadliest thing in the world? ? #MeaslesHoax #GrowingUpInThe90s #BradyBunch #VaccinesDontWork #FearMongering
Some of the Brady Bunch former cast members are unhappy that the show is being used as 2019 propaganda for arguments against vaccines.
Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia as a teen, says she found out a few months ago that an anti-vax Facebook group was using memes of her with measles from the show and she was beyond furious.
“I was really concerned with that and wanted to get to the bottom of that, because I was never contacted,” McCormick said.
“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,” she says, adding, “As a mother, my daughter was vaccinated.”
In fact, McCormick said she had measles herself as a child and that it was nothing like how the show portrayed it.
“Having the measles was not a fun thing,” she says. “I remember it spread through my family.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of measles cases in 2019 is the highest it’s been since the disease was declared eliminated back in 2000.