Following a diverse career which included being a Playboy playmate, an actress, MTV game show host, a parenting author; Jenny McCarthy is adding co-hosting ABC’s ‘The View’ to her resume.
ABC’s official hiring announcement was made last Monday, stirring a storm of criticism ever since.
“I look forward to helping make hot topics a little bit hotter, and showing my mom that my interrupting skills have finally paid off,” McCarthy told CNN.
However, several media figures have criticized ABC’s decision to hire the former PlayBoy star, who in 2005 infamously claimed, without medical evidence, that vaccinations caused her 11-year-old son to develop autism.
The New Yorker’s science reporter Michael Specter wrote that “Jenny McCarthy, who will join “The View” in September, will be the show’s first co-host whose dangerous views on childhood vaccination may—if only indirectly—have contributed to the sickness and death of people throughout the Western world,”
“Executives at ABC should be ashamed of themselves for offering McCarthy a regular platform on which she can peddle denialism and fear to the parents of young children who may have legitimate questions about vaccine safety,” Specter added.
Political reporter for the online news and entertainment website Salon, Alex Pareene, commented saying: “Dear ABC: Putting Jenny McCarthy on ‘The View’ will kill children.”
James Poniewozik, American journalist and television critic, wrote on the Time that the decision to hire the onetime Playboy model will likely “legitimize McCarthy’s dangerous anti-science,” branding the move as “irresponsible and shameful.”
Harry Enten, The Guardian’s political blogger, expressed his disgust by tweeting, “ABC and the View should be ashamed of themselves. Jenny McCarthy deserves to be on some History conspiracy show, not network television.”
New York-based feminist and columnist Jessica Valenti posted on the social networking site Twitter saying, “Sickened that @theviewtv is going to give anti-vaccination zealot Jenny McCarthy a bigger platform.”
Despite the wide spread criticism, McCarthy has fans, and on top of them is her employer Barbara Walters.
“Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor,” said Barbara Walters, the View’s co-founder, in an interview with CNN, “She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view.”
News on McCarthy’s hiring as a TV show presenter has also made it to the Middle East, where there is a fan-base for both The View and for McCarthy.
Media outlets such as Al Bayan and al-Emirat al-Yaum, both have carried McCarthy’s new role prominently on their entertainment pages.
McCarthy is set to join the stage of the View’s season 17 which kicks off on September 9.