Jenny McCarthy | Srivideo
Born Name: Jennifer Ann McCarthy
Date of Birth: November 1, 1972
Place of Birth: Evergreen Park, Illinois, U.S.
Other names: Jenny Wahlberg
Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight: 120 lb (54 kg)
Alma mater: Southern Illinois University
Occupation: Actress, model, television host, author, activist
Spouse(s): John Asher(m. 1999; div. 2005), Donnie Wahlberg(m. 2014)
Partner(s): Jim Carrey(2005–2010)
Children: Evan Joseph Asher
Relatives: Joanne McCarthy (sister), Melissa McCarthy (cousin)
Jennifer Ann McCarthy (born November 1, 1972) is an American actress, model, television host, satellite radio broadcaster, author, and anti-vaccine activist. She began her career in 1993 as a nude model for Playboy magazine and was later named their Playmate of the Year. McCarthy then had a television and film acting career, starting as a co-host on the MTV game show Singled Out, then some eponymous sitcoms, as well as films such as BASEketball, Diamonds, Scream 3, and Santa Baby. She is a former co-host of the ABC talk show The View. She is currently a judge on the FOX musical competition show The Masked Singer.
McCarthy has written books about parenting and has promoted research into environmental causes and alternative medical treatments for autism. She has promoted the disproven idea that vaccines cause autism, and she believes that chelation therapy, a dangerous quack cure helped cure her son of autism. McCarthy's views have been considered dangerous, reckless, and uninformed. McCarthy has been described as "the nation's most prominent purveyor of anti-vaxxer ideology" and "the face of the anti-vaxx movement". Although she disputes the anti-vaccine label and has said she prefers the term "pro-safe-vaccine-schedule", this self-description has been met with strong criticism.
McCarthy was born on November 1, 1972 at Little Company of Mary Hospital located in the southwest Chicago suburb of Evergreen Park, Illinois. She was born to a working-class Catholic family, and has German, Irish, and Polish ancestry. She lived in the West Elsdon neighborhood of Chicago. She is the second of four daughters – her sisters are named Lynette, Joanne, and Amy; actress Melissa McCarthy is her cousin. McCarthy's mother, Linda, was a housewife and courtroom custodian, and her father, Dan McCarthy, was a steel mill foreman.
As a teenager McCarthy attended Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, whose school sweater she donned in the pages of Playboy, and was a cheerleader at both Brother Rice High School and St. Laurence High School, although she has referred to herself as an "outcast" at her school and has stated she was repeatedly bullied by classmates. She spent two years at Southern Illinois University.
Modeling, acting and broadcasting
In 1993 Playboy magazine offered McCarthy $20,000 to pose for its October issue. McCarthy became the Playmate of the Month for October 1993. Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner cites McCarthy's "wholesome Catholic girl" persona as the unique quality for which she was selected out of 10,000 applicants.Her layout emphasized her Catholic upbringing with a schoolgirl theme. According to McCarthy, the pictorial caused an uproar in her Catholic neighborhood, and resulted in her house being pelted with eggs, her sisters being taunted at school, and McCarthy, who counted Catholic nuns among her aunts, being lectured about her future damnation by those close to her. McCarthy was later made the Playmate of the Year, and was paid a $100,000 salary. In 1994, because of her newfound public attention, McCarthy moved to Los Angeles and, for a time, hosted Hot Rocks, a Playboy TV show featuring uncensored music videos.
In 1995, when MTV chose McCarthy to co-host a new dating show called Singled Out, she left Hot Rocks. Her job as a co-host was a success, and Playboy wanted her to do more modeling. That same year she also appeared at World Wrestling Federation (WWF) pay-per-view event WrestleMania XI as a guest valet for villain Shawn Michaels, who faced heroic WWF Champion, Diesel. She left after the match with the victor, Diesel. McCarthy returned to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, formerly the WWF) on the August 2, 2008 Saturday Night's Main Event XXXVI to thank the fans for supporting Generation Rescue, an autism advocacy organization. In 1996 she landed a small part in the comedy The Stupids. In 1997 McCarthy launched two shows. The first one was an MTV sketch comedy show The Jenny McCarthy Show, which was sufficiently popular for NBC to sign her for an eponymous sitcom later that year, Jenny. Also in 1997 she appeared on one of two covers for the September issue of Playboy (the other cover featured Pamela Anderson). McCarthy also released an autobiography: Jen-X: Jenny McCarthy's Open Book.
In 1998 McCarthy's first major movie role was alongside Trey Parker and Matt Stone in the comedy BASEketball. The following year, she starred in Diamonds. In 2000 she had a role in the horror movie Scream 3, and three years later she parodied that role in horror film spoof Scary Movie 3 along with fellow Playmate and actress Anderson. In 2005, McCarthy produced, wrote, and starred in the movie Dirty Love, which was directed by her husband at the time, John Asher. In March 2006 she was given Razzie Awards for "Worst Actress", "Worst Screenplay", and "Worst Picture" for her work on Dirty Love, which also earned Asher a Razzie for "Worst Director."
In addition to her early TV fame on MTV and her short-lived, self-titled NBC sitcom, McCarthy has guest-starred in a variety of other television shows, including Stacked, Charmed, The Drew Carey Show, Wings, Fastlane, Two and a Half Men and Just Shoot Me!. She was the voice of Six in the third season of Canadian computer-animated science fiction cartoon Tripping the Rift. In 2005 McCarthy hosted a show on E! called Party at the Palms. The reality show, which was filmed at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, featured hotel guests, party goers, and celebrities.
McCarthy has continued her work with Playboy over the years, both as a model and in other capacities. She appeared on the cover of the magazine's January 2005 issue wearing a leopard skin version of the company's iconic "bunny suit" and was featured in a pictorial shot at Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in that same issue. She was the second woman (following Carmen Electra) and first former Playmate to become a celebrity photographer for the Playboy Cyber Club, where she photographed model Jennifer Madden.
Her younger sister, Amy McCarthy, also has posed for Playboy. She was Cyber Girl of the Week for September 27, 2004, and Cyber Girl of the Month for January 2005.
In 2007, McCarthy starred in a five-episode online series, called In the Motherhood, along with Chelsea Handler and Leah Remini. The show aired on MSN and was based on being a mother where users could submit their stories to have it made into real webisodes.
She also appeared in two video games: playing the role of Agent Tanya in the video game Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, replacing Kari Wührer, and the fitness video game Your Shape Featuring Jenny McCarthy.
On December 31, 2010, McCarthy began her decade-long tenure as correspondent in Times Square for ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Until her marriage, McCarthy was known for kissing a member of the U.S. Armed Forces at the stroke of midnight; the kiss was reserved for her husband after her marriage. In 2020, she chose not to participate in this event.
She was the host of season 2 of Love in the Wild, which aired in the summer of 2012 on NBC.
She was on the cover of Playboy in the July/August 2012 issue after saying she wanted to pose for it again before her 40th birthday.
After 17 guest appearances, in July 2013 McCarthy was announced as a new co-host on ABC's The View, replacing former co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck. To tone down her looks, McCarthy always wore glasses on the show. Barbara Walters praised McCarthy's intelligence, warmth, humor and fresh point of view, and calling her a great addition to the show. She debuted as a co-host on September 9, 2013. The departures of McCarthy and co-host Sherri Shepherd from The View were announced in June 2014. The Wrap reported that ABC had decided not to renew McCarthy's contract. In an interview with Access Hollywood, McCarthy denied being fired from the show.
McCarthy became a SiriusXM series host of a show called Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy on October 27, 2014. The title of the show was changed to The Jenny McCarthy Show on July 12, 2016.
McCarthy once modeled for Candie's, a shoe company. In one magazine ad, McCarthy posed on a toilet seat with her underwear near her ankles. Cultural scholar Collin Gifford Brooke wrote that the ad's "taboo nature" brought it attention, while noting that the ad itself helped to weaken that taboo. Another Candie's ad depicted McCarthy "passing wind" in a crowded elevator.
McCarthy dated manager Ray Manzella from 1994 until 1998 and began dating actor/director John Mallory Asher late in 1998. The couple became engaged in January 1999 and married on September 11 of that year. They have a son born in May 2002, who was diagnosed with autism in May 2005. McCarthy and Asher divorced in September 2005.
In December 2005, McCarthy began dating actor Jim Carrey. They did not make their relationship public until June 2006. She announced on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 2, 2008 that she and Carrey were living together but had no plans to marry, as they did not need a "piece of paper". Carrey almost made a mock proposal to McCarthy as a promotion to the film Yes Man (2008) for Ellen's Twelve Days of Christmas. In April 2010, McCarthy and Carrey announced that they had split up.
In July 2013, McCarthy stated that she was dating singer and actor Donnie Wahlberg who was known for New Kids on the Block. On April 16, 2014 McCarthy announced on the ABC talk show The View that she and Wahlberg were engaged, and they married on August 31, 2014.
Autism activism and views on vaccines
In May 2007, McCarthy announced that her son Evan was diagnosed with autism in 2005. Before claiming that her son's autism was caused by vaccination, McCarthy wrote that he was gifted, a "crystal child", and that she was an "indigo mom". Evan's disorder began with seizures and his improvement occurred after the seizures were treated, which symptoms experts have noted are more consistent with Landau–Kleffner syndrome, often misdiagnosed as autism. She has denied that her son was misdiagnosed.
In a 2014 Daily Beast article she said that her son, then 12, was doing okay: "Evan's amazing, ... He doesn't meet the diagnostic characteristics for autism. He definitely has quirks and issues from the seizures. He has a little bit of brain damage due to his seizures. He doesn't qualify for any more services, but he does have issues in his school." McCarthy served as a spokesperson for Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) from June 2007 until October 2008. She participated in fundraisers, online chats, and other activities for the non-profit organization to help families affected by autism spectrum disorders. Her first fundraiser for TACA, Ante Up for Autism, was held on October 20, 2007, in Irvine, California. She is a prominent spokesperson and activist for the Generation Rescue foundation, and serves on its board of directors as of January 2011.
McCarthy's book dealing with autism, Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism, was published September 17, 2007. She stated both in her book and during her appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show that her husband was unable to deal with their son's autism, which led to their divorce. In 2008, she appeared on a Larry King Live special dedicated to the subject and argued that vaccines can trigger autism. As of 2008, her son's physician was vaccine critic Jay Gordon. In an April 27, 2010 PBS Frontline documentary, she was interviewed about the debate between vaccine opponents and public health experts.
In addition to conventional, intensive Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, McCarthy tried for her son a gluten-free and casein-free diet, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, chelation, aromatherapies, electromagnetics, spoons rubbed on his body, multivitamin therapy, B-12 shots, and numerous prescription drugs. "Try everything", she advises parents. "It was amazing to watch, over the course of doing this, how certain therapies work for certain kids and they completely don't work for others. ... When something didn't work for Evan, I didn't stop. I stopped that treatment, but I didn't stop." McCarthy has stated on talk shows and at rallies that chelation therapy helped her son recover from autism. The underlying rationale for chelation, the speculation that mercury in vaccines causes autism, has been roundly rejected by scientific studies, with the National Institute of Mental Health concluding that children with autism are unlikely to receive any benefit to balance the risks of heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest posed by the chelating agents used in the treatment.
McCarthy's public presence and vocal activism on the vaccination-autism controversy, led, in 2008, to her being awarded the James Randi Educational Foundation's Pigasus Award, which is a tongue-in-cheek award granted for contributions to pseudoscience, for the "Performer Who Has Fooled the Greatest Number of People with the Least Amount of Effort". Randi stated in a video on the JREF's website that he did sympathize with the plight of McCarthy and her child, but admonished her for using her public presence in a way that may discourage parents from having their own children vaccinated.
McCarthy's claims that vaccines cause autism are not supported by any medical evidence, and the original paper by Andrew Wakefield that formed the basis for the claims (and for whose book McCarthy wrote a foreword) was based on manipulated data and fraudulent research. The BMJ published a 2011 article by journalist Brian Deer, based on information uncovered by Freedom of Information legislation after the British General Medical Council (GMC) inquiry into allegations of misconduct against Wakefield that led to him being struck off from the medical register (and thus unable to practice medicine in the UK) and his articles retracted, stating that Wakefield had planned a venture to profit from the MMR vaccine scare.
Generation Rescue issued a statement that the "media circus" following the revelation of Wakefield's fraud and manipulation of data was "much ado about nothing", which led USA Today to report that McCarthy had "taken a beating on Twitter". Mary Elizabeth Williams responded to Generation Rescue's statement:
In January 2011, McCarthy defended Wakefield, saying that he had listened to parents, reported what they said, and recommended further investigation:
Having written three books on the subject after her son was diagnosed with the syndrome, "by dint of sheer energy and celebrity, McCarthy became the nation's most prominent purveyor of anti-vaxxer ideology", and has reiterated that she is not against vaccines. In an earlier October 2013 interview for TV Guide, McCarthy is quoted as saying:
Jeffrey Kluger, senior writer at Time, has criticized McCarthy several times. In an open letter article referring to their past conflicts, he reproved her and rejected her denials:
One month later in May 2014, McCarthy published an opinion-editorial addressing her position on vaccines, which specifically mentions Kluger:
During a subsequent Daily Beast interview she stated:
In a 2015 Medscape article about celebrities who "speak out about illness", Jeffrey A. Lieberman criticized McCarthy and her views on vaccines, thimerosal, and autism. He had this to say about her influence: "She has no idea what she is talking about. What she said is misleading and harmful, and the measles outbreak is a clear indication of the response to the spread of such pseudoscientific myths."
Objections to appointment on The View
McCarthy's appointment to The View called forth many protests. Amy Pisani of Every Child By Two stated, in a letter to The View's Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, that McCarthy's "unfounded claims that vaccines cause autism have been one of the greatest impediments to public health in recent decades", and that McCarthy's assertions "[have] spread fear among young parents, which has led to an increased number of children who have not received life-saving vaccines."
James Poniewozik, a television critic for Time magazine, criticized McCarthy's addition to the series and Walters' endorsement of McCarthy, arguing that The View is largely aimed at parents, on whom the public health system is dependent, and that the credibility that McCarthy's hiring will give her will endanger the public. Poniewozik argued that McCarthy's views, which might be brought up in discussions with the other hosts, would have the effect of framing the issue of whether vaccines cause autism as a matter of opinion, rather than a firmly refuted idea.
David Freeman, senior science editor for The Huffington Post, wrote about the concerns of Bill Nye, who stated: "I believe Ms. McCarthy's views will be discredited."
Alex Pareene also protested and published a letter to ABC in Salon Magazine, entitled "Anti-vaccine conspiracist and 'View' co-host Jenny McCarthy isn't just quirky—she spreads lies that hurt people."
Michael Specter, writing in The New Yorker, stated:
Brendan Nyhan, writing in Columbia Journalism Review, commented: "ABC's announcement yesterday that actress/comedian Jenny McCarthy will become a co-host of The View brought forth a torrent of condemnation from doctors, science journalists, opinion writers, and even entertainment commentators who oppose giving the anti-vaccine activist a high-profile platform to spread misinformation." After an extensive review of news coverage of the hiring, Nyhan concluded that "[t]here is no perfect way to cover McCarthy's hiring, of course, but giving 'balanced' coverage to fringe beliefs is the worst approach to covering misinformation."
Toronto Public Health officially denounced the appointment and "launched a Twitter campaign to get ... McCarthy fired from the ABC show The View", tweeting "Jenny McCarthy's anti-vaccine views = misinformation. Please ask The View to change their mind", and "Jenny McCarthy cites fraudulent research on vaccines & it's irresponsible to provide her with The View platform."
Katrina vanden Heuvel, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Editor of The Nation, objected to the appointment and wrote about "Jenny McCarthy's Vaccination Fear-Mongering and the Cult of False Equivalence":
McCarthy finished as co-host of the show in 2014, nine months after her debut.
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