Jim Carrey spent Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning tweeting about his anti-vaccination views, and on Thursday night he apologized for including a photo of a young boy without permission.
The actor had sent out an image of the boy, who has autism, as part of a series of tweets challenging a new California law that eliminates personal-belief exemptions for childhood immunizations.
The mother of Alex Echols asked Carrey to remove the photo of her son, noting that he had not been given permission to use it.
The picture, which has since been removed, was attached to a tweet that read, "A trillion dollars buys a lot of expert opinions. Will it buy you? TOXIN FREE VACCINES, A REASONABLE REQUEST!" It was included among several images of distraught children with autism.
The scientific consensus, based on multiple studies, is that the vaccines distributed in the United States do not cause autism. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that thimerosal, the specific compound that Carrey argues can lead to autism, was removed from childhood vaccines more than a decade ago, except for some flu vaccines.
Alex's aunt, Elizabeth Welch, posted a screenshot of Carrey's tweet on Instagram. In the caption, she said that her nephew does have autism but was diagnosed before receiving any vaccinations.