Heather McDonald’s on-stage collapse became #diedsuddenly fodder, but she’s alive and joking
Heather McDonald, the comedian, found herself in an unexpected position after collapsing on stage at the Tempe Improv last February. She became a part of a widely debunked conspiracy theory film titled “Died Suddenly,” meant to spread the belief that the COVID-19 vaccine was the cause of death for a number of people featured in the film, including McDonald. However, McDonald, like many others featured in the trailer, did not die or even get sick because of the vaccine, but unfortunately, it didn’t stop her from becoming an unlikely character for anti-vaxxers.
The Power of Misinformation
The anti-vaccine conspiracy film, “Died Suddenly,” has been widely debunked, yet its impact seems to linger on social media. Videos of McDonald’s collapse quickly spread online, becoming a part of the anti-vax movement’s propaganda, causing her to be recognized as a piece of misinformation by strangers. Her collapse has garnered over 17 million views on TikTok labeled as “Heather McDonald collapse,” outpacing her recently posted content on the app, causing her to bitterly joke, “I thought I was a little bit better known than that.”
Moreover, people who know McDonald personally, such as comedian Joe Rogan, who played the video of her collapse on his podcast, alluded to links to the vaccine despite McDonald being triple-vaccinated. She even reached out to Rogan, clarifying the misinformation about her health status. Still, she received no response. With misinformation spreading so easily online and even among those who know better, it’s hard to see how it can be stopped anytime soon.
The Power of Social Media
Once something becomes viral on social media, it’s hard to control how it’s interpreted or represented. McDonald’s collapse video is a classic example of how social media can distort the truth without any means of stopping it. Although she’s well known for her comedy and her podcasts, she’s now popularly known as the comedian who collapsed while being vaccinated. Even with her platform, she’s been finding it hard to combat the misinformation on her own. If it’s hard for her, what about those who aren’t in the public eye?
- McDonald’s collapse had nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccine.
- The film “Died Suddenly” promotes a widely debunked conspiracy theory about the COVID-19 vaccine.
- The power of misinformation on social media is hard to contain or control.
Heather McDonald’s collapse and the subsequent misinformation highlight not only the power of social media but also the dangerous implications of misinformation. If people like McDonald, who have a platform, can’t control their narratives online, it raises concerns over the information being spread about those who have no voice to speak for themselves. We need to be more aware of the content we share and the impact it can have. While the film “Died Suddenly” has been largely debunked, its influence remains, and it’s hard to know how to separate fact from fiction in a world where misinformation thrives.
Heather McDonald may be joking now about her new role as a propaganda tool, but the implications of being misinterpreted and misunderstood online are no laughing matter. In a world where misinformation is prevalent, it’s up to us to check our sources and make sure we’re not perpetuating lies. As McDonald’s story shows, even those who are well-known can become victims to misinformation, and it’s the responsibility of all of us to do our part in stopping it.