State Farm has pulled the plug on an ad starring a former “Saturday Night Live” regular. E! Online reports that the insurance company yanked the ad featuring Rob Schneider reprising his “Richmeister” office worker character known for his “-meister” nicknames for co-workers and his commentaries on “makin’ copies.”
The ad was reportedly quashed because of Schneider’s views on childhood vaccinations.
“The insurance company has pulled its Discount Double Check commercial starring Schneider in ‘Richmeister’ mode from his ‘Saturday Night Live’ days, the move coming in response to now-viral backlash over Schneider’s past outspokenness against mandatory childhood vaccinations.”
Schneider lobbied in the past against a California bill, which was later signed into law, that requires parents to meet with doctors before exempting their children from the state’s vaccination requirements, the story says.
Schneider fired back at State Farm’s decision, quoting George Washington to suggest that his freedom of speech was being infringed, notes The Hollywood Reporter.
“If the Freedom of Speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter,” Schneider said.
In a statement, State Farm said the ad had been pulled because it had “unintentionally” become “a platform for discussion unrelated to the products and services we provide. With that, we are working to remove the ad from our rotation at this time.”
Here’s the ad: