Still playing at theaters near you: Safe Minds PSAs…


Last night, after I had a glass of wine and a delicious butter pecan cupcake, I got a disturbing text from fellow Skepchick Maria.

She was at Studio Movie Grill in Holcomb, Ga, and was about to enjoy some Christmas Eve movie wonderfulness when… BAM… in her face, 70 ft x 30 ft of nauseating news:

The Safe Minds PSAs, the ones we had pulled from AMC last month, are still playing in other theaters. (This may not be the exact PSA running, but the message is the same.)

***UPDATE: A reader complained on SMG’s FB page and, according to this reader, they responded saying that this ad will no longer run, and that they never approved this spot, which was put on the screen by Screenvision. Updates to come.

Thank you to Studio Movie Grill for their response and for taking action to stop these ads from running in their theaters!***

We have some work to do here, people. I know it’s Christmas, and I know that many of you have plans to get out to the movies and relax tonight.

Before you go, I ask that you call your theater and find out if they are playing the SafeMinds ads. If they are, find an alternate theater. AMC Theaters have agreed not to run these ads in any of their theaters.

If you do see these ads, please leave a comment here, or if you’d rather not leave a comment, contact me using the Link? Question? Comment? link on the left side bar or email me at elyse(at)

Once we have a list, we can work on writing letters, making phone calls and organizing our boycott. Jamie Bernstein of the WTFF is working on compiling a list as best she can… which is difficult without calling every single theater in the country today.

If you’d like to bring some handouts… or if you’d ever like handouts, feel free to print and distribute these responsibly:

You can also download full Hug me brochures with an FAQ on the importance of vaccinating.

The brochures will be updated soon, but for right now, you can use them despite the fact that they say “Dragon Con” on them.

Thanks guys! Let’s keep working to keep these scaremongering ads out of theaters. Vaccines save lives. There’s no reason to scare people away from getting them.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. You may want to withdraw that compaint. If I am reading this post correctly, it is suggesting AMC as an alternative to SafeMinds showing theaters, not claiming that AMC is running the spot.

  2. Oh, Elyse, might want to change the wording. It’s a little ambiguous. Like devianttouch, I at first thought you were saying they were still playing it at AMC. Specifically the sentence “The SafeMinds PSAs, the ones we had pulled from AMC last month, are still playing in theaters.” It looks like you’re referring to the AMC theaters there. Anyway, yeah, I’ll make sure I don’t see any movies at theaters that show those! Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Studio Movie Grill only operates seven theaters. They are in:

    Arlington | CityCentre | Copperfield | Dallas/Royal | Lewisville | Plano | Holcomb Bridge

  4. My husband and I went to see Tron last weekend, and they were not running the ad in the theater. Surprisingly, the large theater in the mall in Durham, NC is owned by a smallish company (Stone Theatres). They only own three movie theaters in NC, so that’s probably why.

    I’ll call around tomorrow to see if anyone around here is running the ad.

  5. Probably one or more principals from the Studio Movie Grill chain have (a) kids on the spectrum (b) believe in the autism = vaccine injury fallacy.

    From Dallas Mom’s Blog

    Stacy Baugh tells us why she is looking forward to taking her daughter Emily to the special needs screening of Yogo Bear at the Studio Movie Grill Saturday. An Army wife, Stacy homeschools her daughter who lives with Sensory Processing Disorder and Aspergers. Please welcome Stacy as she blogs at Midlife Army Wife and here on the Dallas Moms Blog….

    A couple days ago, Nancy Churnin wrote about a special needs screening and she thought I might want to share another option that I have participated in. I’m thrilled to pass on this information and hope you will take advantage of it! The more we as a community support these showings, the more they will offer them!

    A few months ago, I attended a special needs screening of Shrek Forever After at the Studio Movie Grill with my family…..

    “Studio Movie Grill is pleased to offer regular Special Needs Screenings for families raising children with special needs, and thanks to its partnership with Variety the Children’s Charity of Texas & Land-O-Lakes has been able to present these screenings free to all children for the past five years. The program gives these special families an opportunity to enjoy a family-friendly feature in a safe and warm environment. Auditoriums are adjusted with lights a little brighter, sound a little softer and no one minds if audience members dance, sing, shout or walk about during the movie and families can feel relaxed and comfortable enjoying the movie experience together.”…

    Why do they do it? Well, according to the website:

    “One of our managers had two children with autism and it was he, along with staff members, who helped us to recognize that indeed some families raising children with special needs have never felt comfortable taking their whole family to a movie because they did not want to cause a disturbance for other patrons. At SMG Special Needs Screenings that concern is taken away and everyone can enjoy their favorite movie in a relaxed and accepting environment…

  6. I have a hard enough time trying to educate my patients WITHOUT being undermined by BIG screen propganda.

    Fortunately, these ads are not playing where I live.

  7. I’m glad the anti-vax ads don’t seem to have made it to the UK. Unfortunately, even without antivax ads, the UK is suffering a sharp rise in flu cases: .
    Possibly due to the lack of a government ad campaign, flu vaccination rates ares less this year than last year. I can only hope that the same thing does not occur in the US, especially in light of the anti-vax’ers misinformed opposition to the vaccination. I’m glad there are people like the Skepchicks aiming to raise awareness of the reality of vaccination.

  8. Perhaps we should starting demanding stupidity-free PSAs? I know that RN usually means Royal Navy or Registered Nurse, but what does it mean in Ms. Redwood’s case?

    I remember my mom saying that there are many blissful people in the world. I didn’t understand until I connected that statement with the saying “ignorance is bliss”. SafeMinds people are very blissful people.

  9. Brian Schultz
    Martin Massman

    Studio Movie Grill Concepts Trademark Holdings
    2999 Overland Ave Ste 123
    Los Angeles, CA 90064.

    Brian Schultz, Managing Partner
    Studio Movie Grill Studio Movie Grill Concepts I Ltd
    4721 W Park Boulevard
    Plano, TX 75093-232

    11130 N. Central Expressway Suite 200
    Dallas, TX 75243

    972-388-7888 – Telephone
    214-751-3980 – Fax

    I think that Schultz & Massman form unique limited partnerships for each venue; the Los Angeles address is for the overall holding company; I believe Massman lives in Los Angeles.

  10. Good grief! I’m diabetic and am grateful beyond words that I’m entitled to free ‘flu vaccinations (and swine ‘flu ones) in the UK. My husband’s niece is in hospital because she has swine ‘flu and is pregnant. Please do get vaccinated. If only because the more people who get one, won’t get ‘flu to pass it on to other unvaccinated people.

  11. Hubs and I went to the SMG in Arlington on Thursday night, and there was no anti-vax ads that night in our showing of True Grit. I will definitely complain if they start running them – that’s the theatre we mainly go to.

  12. My letter to my local SMG (in Copperfield, which is NW Houston):

    Dear Studio Movie Grill,
    Upon my return to the Copperfield area, I had planned to see both Tron and True Grit. I frequently come to Studio Movie Grill, both because of its convenient location, and because I enjoy the environment created in your theaters.

    Unfortunately, I have heard from a friend that you are running a “public service announcement” from Safeminds, an anti-science group who recently engaged in cyber-bullying of a pro-science volunteer, including condoning people threatening her children (q.v. This is not something I can support, and so ask your assurance that you are not giving or selling this organization a platform before I attend a movie at your location.

    Please, ease my mind about this, and do not be a platform for those who use cyber-bullying to endanger the health and welfare of the people of Houston, Texas, and the United States.

    Mark Hall
    Houston, Texas

  13. Well, we don’t get anti-vax ads here in theatres or on TV in Belgium, but I HAVE been seeing a rather disturbing advertisment on TV lately. It basically shows someone sneezing, as in coming down with the flu, then the comment: “when the first flu symptoms start, take occillococcinum“. It then further “warns” that this product is a “medicine” manufactured by Boiron, but it specifically never makes any claims about being able to treat or cure the flu or its symptoms (I’ve attentively looked/listened for any false claims, there aren’t any).

    In other words, as far as I can tell, this is an ad for homeopathy, making damn sure they don’t say anything that could get them sued. It’s misleading, but sadly not illegal :(

  14. @Cleon: We got there pretty early – it showed way before previews etc started so it might have shown when you were there but you missed it. It sounds like they are pulling the PSAs, which is good because I really like that theater :)

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