It’s amazing where anti-vaccine nuttery will metastasize to when you’re not looking.
This time around, Tom Chick (who, I’m told but don’t know for sure, is actually Jack Chick’s son) warns us about a new Wii game by Ubisoft called Your Shape. It sounds as though it’s nothing more than another of “personalized” exercise guides, but what it does have that other such exercise guides lack is a certifiably loony anti-vaccine wingnut as one of its “health experts.” Indeed, as Tom points out, this is what Ubisoft says in its press release:
In addition to being the face of Your Shape featuring Jenny McCarthy in North America, Jenny will also be your in-game work-out buddy, providing a fun and motivating exercise experience, while also ensuring that players get the most efficient, and effective, work-out possible. Once the player completes an initial fitness test, McCarthy’s in-game avatar will be able to completely personalize their workout routine to both their fitness level as well as their personal fitness goals. And, with the innovative new motion tracking technology, the game is able to follow a player’s movements as they work-out, and guides them so that they know whether or not they’re doing the exercises correctly.
“Partnering with Jenny McCarthy was a no-brainer for us,” said Tony Key, vice president of sales and marketing, North America. “Her commitment to fitness, and exceptionally wide fan-base, make her an ideal fit for the Your Shape brand. Best of all, she will make the workout fun for players, which is an element that has been missing in the fitness game market.”
“No-brainer? I’ll say! It sounds as though Ubisoft didn’t use any brains when it chose its new avatar. Here’s a hint, Ubisoft: If you want your Wii program to have any credibility as a “health” guide, partnering with an anti-vaccine wingnut whose knowledge of health science is so risibly inadequate as to be beyond contempt and who with her boyfriend Jim Carrey (who is also an anti-vaccine loon) has led anti-vaccine protests in Washington, is not a good idea.
Tom has some amusing other ideas for Ubisoft:
Hey, Ubisoft, here’s another no-brainer for you: Maybe you can partner with some Truthers for an authentic contemporary storyline for the next Splinter Cell game? Or maybe you can get some Holocaust deniers to partner with you about your upcoming WWII strategy game, Ruse?
The possibilities are endless. Perhaps David Irving could be an on screen avatar in Ruse telling players how the Allies were just as bad as the Nazis. Or maybe the next Splinter Cell could feature a plot line where it’s discovered that the Mossad was behind 9/11, with the help of the Bush Administration.
Actually, what Ubisoft is doing with McCarthy is potentially worse, because Ruse is fiction with World War II as a backdrop, and Splinter Cell is pure fiction based on Tom Clancy novels. Here, we have Ubisoft promoting Jenny McCarthy as the face of its new health and exercise guide based on what? Well, let’s see:
Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism, was released in mid-September 2007 and her latest book, Healing and Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide, was released in March of 2009. McCarthy has recently become the spokesperson for Weight Watchers, encouraging healthy living and nutrition for new moms, and she currently has a development deal with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions. She will be seen next in the ABC Family original movie, “Santa Baby 2.”
What? Weight Watchers is using Jenny as a spokesperson, too? I’ve fortunately been spared seeing that–yet.
In any case, it just goes to show that a celebrity can spew dangerously pseudoscientific nonsense and somehow become seen as an “expert” in health. It’s also something that appears not to trouble Oprah, Weight Watchers, or Ubisoft. They apparently don’t think that someone who threatens public health the way Jenny McCarthy’s message does is bad enough that they don’t want their brands associated with her.