Jenny McCarthy sarcastically thanked detractors who criticized her anti-vaccination stance for making her more popular.
"Thank you to all the haters who tweet my name," McCarthy tweeted March 17. "You make my Q Score higher and higher. It's because of you I continue to work. Thank you! : ) "
The Q score is a measurement of a celebrity's popularity; the higher the score, the more influential that celebrity purportedly is.
On March 13, Jenny was barraged with critical comments after asking her 1.1 million Twitter followers a relationship question: "What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks."
The replies McCarthy got were harsh and unexpected. "Somebody who gets that refusing vaccines because of 'toxins' and then shilling for e-cigs makes you a pathetic hypocrite," wrote one Twitter user. Another added, "Someone who doesn't spread false info causing disease."
Jenny has an 11-year-old son, Evan, who was diagnosed with autism in 2005. "The View" host has stirred controversy over the years after saying Evan's autism was caused by the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine he received as a baby.
In 2007, Jenny was slammed after launching an anti-vaccine movement. Critics say McCarthy is spreading misinformation that could result in children's deaths. In response, Jenny said she has done extensive research and is convinced that the toxins in vaccinations contribute to autism.
"Isn't it ironic, in 1983 there were 10 shots, and now there's 36 and the rise of autism happened at the same time?" McCarthy told Larry King in a 2008 interview (see video). "We need to get rid of the toxins, the mercury — which I am so tired of everyone saying has been removed. It has not been removed from the shots."
Jenny has also been under fire after remarking that she had cured her son's autism by eliminating gluten from his diet. McCarthy detailed her attempts to cure Evan's autism in her book Louder Than Words: A Mom's Journey in Healing Autism.
McCarthy isn't the only celebrity who's opposed to vaccinations. Reality TV star Kristin Cavallari recently made headlines after saying she will never vaccinate her one-year-old son, Camden, because she's worried that vaccines cause autism.
"I've read too many books about autism," said Cavallari, who's pregnant with her second child. "There is a pediatric group called Home First. They've never vaccinated any of their children and they've never had one case of autism."
Autism is a developmental disability characterized by difficulty with communication and social interaction. There is no known cause or cure for autism. Autism now affects one in 68 children.