Mike Rowe Hits Back After Meme About Christmas Classic And Omicron Sparks Outrage

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Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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Mike Rowe hit back Tuesday after a meme that involved the classic Christmas movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life” and the Omicron variant sparked outrage among some of his followers.

The host of “Dirty Jobs'” original Facebook post included a black and white shot of the moment in the film when one of the children actors said, “Look Daddy, every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” However, the meme read, “Look Daddy, every time a bell rings, a variant gets a name.” At the time of this publication, it had been viewed more than 300,000 times with 12,000 comments. (RELATED: Mike Rowe Sends Blistering Message To Colleges Refusing To Fly American Flag)

Rowe said he received backlash from some who decided this meant he was “anti-vax,” others who said it was “blatantly political” and he should “stay in his lane” and “out of politics.” He also said he heard from some who said they had lost respect for him because they felt the post was “mean spirited”. (RELATED: Mike Rowe Says ’40 Million People In This Country’ Have Been Labeled ‘Non-Essential’ And That’s ‘Fundamentally Upside-Down’)

The host challenged every one of the claims, and decided rather than respond to every single person who had a problem with it, he would provide a sampling and clarify his position. Below is just one of them. The entirety of the post can be seen here. 

“‘Marianna Lynn Moles writes…’This feels like an anti-vaxx post to me,'” Rowe shared. “‘But maybe I’ve just been part of the emergency response team for 2 years too long. I find humor in most anything, but this doesn’t hit me right. Too soon.”

“Hi Marianna – Thanks for you service in the fight against this disease,” he responded. “Sincerely. But I’m curious. What exactly in the post strikes you as ‘anti-vax?’ In my view, the decision to name every new variant has nothing whatsoever to do with a suspicion of vaccines, or a suspicion of mandates, or an opinion on Dr. Fauci, or any other COVID-related issue.”

“This is the 13th major variant of COVID-19 detected so far, and the WHO seems determined to name them all,” the host continued. “Fine. They’re working their way through the Greek alphabet. Recently, though, they decided to skip ‘Nu’ and ‘Xi,’ the 13th and 14th letters. ‘Nu’ and ‘new’ are homophones, and apparently, there was a concern that people were too stupid to comprehend the distinction. WHO officials also decided to skip Xi, pronounced ‘shee,’ because, according to them, it is a common Chinese surname. Point being, we’re gonna run out of letters at this rate, and that’s worthy of some humorous commentary, in my opinion.”

The “Dirty Jobs” host then questioned why they didn’t decide to name the virus “Omega” instead of “Omicron,” going with what he said sounded like a name of a villain from “The Transformers” franchise.

“Again, I mean no disrespect, but how is any of that anti-vax?” the TV host asked. “As for the ‘too soon’ thing, I understand you’re on the front line of this nightmare and I meant no disrespect to the work you do on our behalf, or to those who have lost loved ones.”

Rowe also asked if we have to “wait until the virus is gone entirely” before it will be okay to “lampoon the insanity of naming variants.”

“I’m not a scientist, but it seems to me that we must all find a way to live with this thing, even as we fight it, name it, and argue with each other about it,” he added. “Because I don’t think it’s going away, Marianna. Ever. And if any attempt at humor is always ‘too soon,’ well, that would be too bad.”