Michael J. Fox was featured in a television advertisement for Missouri Senate candidate Claire McCaskill. McCaskill supports Missouri State Amendment Two, which would provide funding for stem cell research and which will be voted on in the upcoming election. In the commercial, Fox says that McCaskill promotes stem cell research and, because of this, Missouri voters should vote for her. Fox’s Parkinson’s tremors can been seen in the commercial and he is obviously struggling to speak.
Rush Limbaugh, on his radio show, said that Fox was faking the tremors for emotional effect. Many people spoke out against Limbaugh in outrage.
In reaction to Fox, a coalition of Republican celebrities made a response ad. This ad features Kurt Warner, Jeff Supan (a Cardinals pitcher), Patricia Heaton (Debra from ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’), Mike Sweeny and Jesus Christ.
Wait, did I say ‘Jesus Christ’? I meant to say ‘Jim Caviezel,’ the actor who played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ I must have made that mistake because the commercial opens with Caviezel, standing in front of a statue of Jesus, speaking Aramaic with a solemn look in his eyes. As I watched, I started to tremble. It must be the apocalypse! The second coming of Christ!
Then I realized that these worries were unfounded, and that in reality, Jim Caviezel is just a presumptuous ass who wanted to use his movie role to promote a political agenda.
I am not really sure what Caviezel says in the beginning of the ad. Maybe he says, ‘I’m Jesus Christ and I approve this message.’ Maybe he says, ‘Four of my 12 disciples are about to talk to you about stem cell research.’
The other celebrities then tell you about moral reasons why stem cell research is wrong. They make good points. Fox did too. I almost forgot about Caviezel making an idiot of himself in the beginning, but then he comes back, with that pretentiously solemn voice. He says, ‘You know now. Don’t do it. Vote no on Two.’ He is in front of the same statue of Jesus.
There was a large Republican response to the video. On Internet forums, responses to the commercial read, ‘great video,’ and other benedictions to that effect. If you readers are looking for something sadly entertaining, go to YouTube and type in ‘Michael J. Fox Response.’ If you haven’t already watched it, the advertisement provides a minute of pure entertainment. Make sure not to vomit on your keyboard.
What makes this commercial even more pathetic is the fact that all these celebrities just got together to whore their names: ‘Look, I’m famous, you should listen to me.’ This is nothing new. Many celebrities use their fame to promote their political agenda.
The ridiculous thought of listening to celebrities as you might a doctor, a religious scholar or, in this case, a prophet, comes across in this ad as more abhorrent than usual, however. Not only because Caviezel thinks he is Jesus but because the celebrities are responding to Fox, a man who is slowly dying from a degenerative disease.
Stem cell research personally affects Fox. He has felt the effects of Parkinson’s disease and he has a legitimate reason to speak about his position on stem cell research. I personally believe that embryonic stem cell research is utterly wrong, but I understand that Fox has personal reasons to speak on behalf of it.
I guess Caviezel has reason as well, even if it is unethical. Just because he played Jesus Christ in a movie doesn’t give him direct mandate from Mel Gibson to speak out.
Brian Walker is a second-year literary journalism and English double-major. He can be reached at email@example.com.