News, Culture & Society

Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick not happy with anti-vaxxers using the sitcom to downplay measles

The Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick is upset over anti-vaccination advocates using an episode of the 1970s sitcom to make light of a recent measles outbreak.

In an episode titled, ‘Is There a Doctor in the House?’ McCormick’s character, Marcia, came down sick with measles and quipped, ‘If you have to get sick, sure can’t beat the measles.’

McCormick, 62, is now upset that the lighthearted portrayal of the viral disease, which she said doesn’t match reality, is being touted by anti-vaxxers as evidence that concern over the illness is overblown.

‘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,’ McCorming told NPR, adding, ‘As a mother, my daughter was vaccinated.’

  

The Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick is upset over anti-vaccination advocates using an episode of the 1970s sitcom to make light of a recent measles outbreak across the US. A meme from the show (pictured) features McCormick’s character of Marcia saying, ‘If you have to get sick, sure can’t beat the measles’

But McCormick, who had her daughter vaccinated, said the show's portrayal did not comport with reality, and that 'having the measles was not a fun thing.' Maureen McCormick is pictured while on the show

Maureen McCormick is pictured

But McCormick, who had her daughter vaccinated, said the show’s portrayal did not comport with reality, and that ‘having the measles was not a fun thing’

The US is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of the measles since 2014, and is projected to surpass the number of cases reported five years ago.

There have been 626 reported cases of measles in the US this year, through April 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

An outbreak is defined by the CDC as three or more reported cases, with the US currently experiencing outbreaks of the measles in New York in New York City and Rockland County, New Jersey, Michigan, California’s Butte County and the state of Washington.  

The US is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of the measles since 2014, and is projected to surpass the number of cases reported five years ago. There have been 626 reported cases of measles in the US this year, through April 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as shown in the chart pictured

The US is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of the measles since 2014, and is projected to surpass the number of cases reported five years ago. There have been 626 reported cases of measles in the US this year, through April 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as shown in the chart pictured

In an early episode of the series which ran from 1969-1974, The Brady Bunch portrays the sickness as no big deal at all, when Peter (Christopher Knight) gets sent home from school with the measles.

Carol Brady (Florence Henderson) calls her husband, Mike (Robert Reed), and tells him Peter has ‘a slight temperature, a lot of dots and a great big smile,’ thanks to having a few days off from school to recover.  

Later, after Marcia played by McCormick catches the measles from her siblings she says, ‘If you have to get sick, sure can’t beat the measles,’ while the four oldest Brady children play Monopoly on one of their beds. 

In an early episode of the series which ran from 1969-1974, The Brady Bunch portrays the sickness as no big deal at all, when Peter (Christopher Knight, right) gets sent home from school with the measles. Carol Brady (Florence Henderson, center) calls her husband and tells him Peter has 'a slight temperature, a lot of dots and a great big smile,' thanks to having a few days off from school to recover

In an early episode of the series which ran from 1969-1974, The Brady Bunch portrays the sickness as no big deal at all, when Peter (Christopher Knight, right) gets sent home from school with the measles. Carol Brady (Florence Henderson, center) calls her husband and tells him Peter has ‘a slight temperature, a lot of dots and a great big smile,’ thanks to having a few days off from school to recover

Later, after Marcia played by McCormick catches the measles from her siblings she says, 'If you have to get sick, sure can't beat the measles,' while the four oldest Brady children play Monopoly on one of their beds

Later, after Marcia played by McCormick catches the measles from her siblings she says, ‘If you have to get sick, sure can’t beat the measles,’ while the four oldest Brady children play Monopoly on one of their beds

That moment has turned into a meme, shared by people who oppose vaccinating children.

Dr. Toni Bark, who has fashioned herself as an expert on the anti-vaccination movement by testifying in court and at public hearings across the country in promotion of the agenda, has cited the show to support her stance.

‘You stayed home like the Brady Bunch show. You stayed home. You didn’t go to the doctor,’ Bark has said. ‘We never said, “Oh my God, your kid could die. Oh my God, this is a deadly disease.” It’s become that.’ 

Other memes have also circulated, using the episode as fodder for the movement. 

Other memes have also circulated, using the episode as fodder for the movement

Other memes have also circulated, using the episode as fodder for the movement

But McCormick said the cheery disposition of the Bradys in the episode doesn’t match reality.  

‘Having the measles was not a fun thing,’ she said. ‘I remember it spread through my family.’

Most of the people who contract measles will be fine after the virus runs its course, but complications can arise.

‘There is no specific medicine to treat the measles virus. Most of the time, people with measles will get better on their own,’ according to the New York City Department of Health.  

A vaccine first became available against the measles in 1963. In the ten years leading up to that medical development, the (CDC) estimates that nearly all children contracted the virus by the age of 15, and a total of 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year.

Among reported cases each of those years, it’s estimated 400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles.

When the episode of The Brady Bunch dealing with the measles came out in 1969, the CDC reported more than 25,000 measles cases and 41 deaths. 

The son of Sherwood Schwartz, who created the show and passed away in 2011, said his father would be join McCormick in being upset with the show being used to promote an anti-vaccination agenda. 

‘Dad would be sorry, because he believed in vaccination, had all of his kids vaccinated,’ Lloyd J. Schwartz said. 

There have been 390 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens since October through April 24, NYC DOH said.

In the case of that outbreak currently underway in New York City, there have been about 29 people hospitalized, NPR reported. Six of those individuals were placed in intensive care and two people who have contracted the virus in recent weeks have been pregnant women, which adds additional risks. One flight attendant who contracted measles on a flight from NYC to Tel Aviv wound up in a coma from measles complications.

The son of Sherwood Schwartz, who created the show and passed away in 2011, said his father would be join McCormick in being upset with the show being used to promote an anti-vaccination agenda. 'Dad would be sorry, because he believed in vaccination, had all of his kids vaccinated,' Lloyd J. Schwartz said. The cast of The Brady Bunch is pictured

The son of Sherwood Schwartz, who created the show and passed away in 2011, said his father would be join McCormick in being upset with the show being used to promote an anti-vaccination agenda. ‘Dad would be sorry, because he believed in vaccination, had all of his kids vaccinated,’ Lloyd J. Schwartz said. The cast of The Brady Bunch is pictured

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.