After going on a Twitter rant against a new California vaccine legislation this week, the ‘Truman Show’ star posted a picture of an autistic boy without seeking the family’s permission – landing him in some trouble.
He later posted an apology to the family of Alex Echols of Eugene, Oregon.
In one of his tweets Wednesday, Carrey wrote, “A trillion dollars buys a lot of expert opinions. Will it buy you? TOXIN FREE VACCINES, A REASONABLE REQUEST!” and attached photos of distressed-looking children, including one boy crying with his arms behind his head.
That boy turned out to be Alex Echols, and his family was not at all happy to see it included in Carrey’s anti-vaccine rant.
The boy’s mother, Karen Echols, and aunt, Elizabeth Welch, responded on social media after seeing Alex’s photo.
Posting a copy of Carrey’s tweet on Instagram, Welch explained that although Alex does have autism, he was diagnosed with it before receiving any vaccinations. Alex was born with tuberous sclerosis or TSC, she said, which can cause benign tumors to grow all over the body, including the brain. Many children with TSC have autism.
“I’m very disgusted and sickened that a celebrity would use a photo like this that was used in the first place to spread awareness of Tuberous Sclerosis to mock him and and my sister for vaccinations,” Welch wrote on Instagram. “Even if that was not his intended outcome, it is what happened. Please spread this, and let’s try to get this tweet removed.”
Carrey did remove Alex’s picture and apologized, which was noted by the boy’s mother. She later told the star she appreciated the apology and requested that he raise awareness about Tuberous Sclerosis instead.
She tweeted: @JimCarrey we appreciate the apology. If you feel so inclined, a shout out for tuberous sclerosis awareness would be awesome! #IAMTSC