July 28, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Kirk Cameron spreads cheer (and COVID?) at caroling protests

Actor Kirk Cameron and his troupe of Christmas carolers may be spreading more than holiday cheer this season.

The “Growing Pains” star has come under fire recently for encouraging large groups of people to sing Yuletide tunes — in close proximity and without masks — as a protest against California’s stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Cameron has proudly participated in multiple demonstrations, including one held Tuesday in the parking lot of the Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks.

“Have you ever watched the eye-opening, heart bursting movie, ‘The Giver’ with Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep?” Cameron wrote last week on Instagram, referencing the 2014 film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s classic dystopian novel.

“Today’s government leaders’ ‘safety rules’ of ‘no singing,’ ‘wear your mask at all times’ and ‘socially distance’ seem like they’re straight out of a scene from this scary movie about redefining life and reality for the ‘safety of the community’.”

That’s how Cameron captioned a clip of himself defending his caroling antics in a recent Fox News interview, during which he billed the gatherings as “a chance for people to come sing songs of hope” amid “devastation” in his community.

Indoor singing at houses of worship in California is currently “strongly discouraged,” public health officials said, while health experts agree that face coverings and social distancing are key to protecting oneself and others from the respiratory illness. COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the United States.

Tuesday night’s caroling happened near a testing facility, according to ABC7 News, which said about 100 people were gathered to sing.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Southern California continue to surge, and intensive care units in the state edge toward full capacity, several in the entertainment industry and beyond condemned Cameron’s actions as “arrogant and thoughtless.”

Early in the pandemic, an indoor choir rehearsal turned out to be a super-spreader event that resulted in dozens of COVID-19 cases and a couple of deaths.

“We do not condone this irresponsible — yet constitutionally protected — peaceful protest event planned,” the Oaks shopping center tweeted. “We share your concern and have notified the Sheriff’s office. As well, we have reached out to the event planner to ask that they do not use The Oaks as their venue.”

Cameron’s former “Growing Pains” costar and onscreen sister Tracey Gold also weighed in with concern for her “dear brother Mike,” addressing the actor by the name of his character from the hit ’80s sitcom.

“As your more intelligent sister I want you to know that I disapprove,” Gold tweeted, along with a heart and a face-mask emoji. “I’m worried about you brother AND your family. Wear a mask. Stay home. Sing later.”

See more reactions to Cameron’s anti-lockdown crusade below.