Vaccine Opponents: Sesame Street's Autistic Character is Pharmaceutical Propaganda

The introduction of Julia, an autistic Sesame Street character, drew claims by vaccine opponents that the puppet is part of a conspiracy.

Published April 20, 2017

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

On 20 March 2017 Sesame Street officially introduced a new character named Julia, the show's first puppet representing an autistic child:

Although Julia debuted on Sesame Street in March and April 2017, the initiative was first announced in October 2015. Among topics sparked by the introduction of Julia were claims by opponents of vaccination that the character serves as propaganda engineered by pharmaceutical companies to normalize autism, which is called "vaccine injury" in those circles.

Claims vaccines caused autism have long been proved false, but it is true that some opponents of vaccination believe that Julia's introduction to the show is the result of a push by pharmaceutical companies:

Shortly after Sesame Workshop announced the new character in October 2015, vaccine opponents raised the same concerns:

In October 2015, conspiracy and alternative health site Natural News' "Health Ranger" Mike Adams published an blog post accusing Sesame Street of tacitly promoting vaccines to "normalize" autism with the introduction of Julia (and reiterating an old conspiracy theory about a purported data coverup at the CDC):

In yet another sickening example of the absolute mental derangement of modern society, Sesame Street has rolled out its first autistic muppet named "Julia," says the Sesame Street website

The rollout of autistic Julia is Sesame Street's attempt to "normalize" vaccine injuries and depict those victimized by vaccines as happy, "amazing" children rather than admitting the truth that vaccines cause autism in some children and we should therefore make vaccines safer and less frequent to save those children from a lifetime of neurological damage.

The fact that vaccines are linked to autism was openly admitted by top CDC scientist Dr. William Thompson, who admitted to taking part in a scientific fraud scheme involving numerous CDC officials. In the name of "vaccine science," they actively altered data to eliminate the statistical link between vaccines and autism in African-American boys, thereby condemning millions of young black babies to a life of permanent neurological damage. #BlackLivesDONTmatter to the vaccine industry, it seems.

Sesame Street's rollout of the character Julia (including an appearance on morning chat show The View) continues to draw persistent backlash, despite Sesame Workshop's description of Julia's introduction as "an initiative designed to reduce the stigma surrounding autism." As part of the initiative, the company set up as a resource for viewers to learn more about autism.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.