Updated: Kirk Cameron Moves Caroling Event to Ventura County

A caroling event organized by Cameron that took place on December 8

Update, 3:51 p.m.: Actor Kirk Cameron announced on Instagram that the Christmas caroling event that was to take place in Malibu would be moved to Point Mugu in Ventura County.

According to the VC Star, the Ventura County sheriff sent out a press release during the most recent lockdown saying that he would direct his deputies to focus on COVID-19 “education” rather than issuing citations. Their “approach is one of educating the public of the health orders and encouraging compliance with them,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said in the statement.

In contrast, in recent weeks, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has stepped up issuing citations and making arrests at “super spreader events.” 

Update, 10:44 p.m.: California State Senator Henry Stern posted on Twitter on Wednesday night that he had direct-messaged actor Kirk Cameron, “seeing if he could just stay home and hum quietly to himself this NYE,” rather than organize a mass caroling rally, which Cameron announced he was planning at an undisclosed Malibu location for Dec. 31.

“We’re too busy fighting this peaking pandemic to even mourn our fallen,” Stern’s social media post continued. “Please don’t make us spend more time or safety resources on profiteering/PR disguised as prayer/protest.”

Stern tagged Cameron in the tweet, which was published at 10:35 p.m.

As of 10:46 p.m., Cameron had not replied.

Over the past few weeks, actor Kirk Cameron—most famous for his role on the ’80s sitcom “Growing Pains”—has been facing severe criticism for his potentially COVID-spreading caroling events, where, according to CNN, “dozens of mask-less people stood shoulder-to-shoulder to sing Christmas carols in protest of state and local stay-at-home mandates.” Despite the pushback, Cameron has continued to organize these gatherings, announcing his next one was planned to take place in Malibu on Thursday, Dec. 31.

Cameron shared on his Instagram that the event was titled, “New Year’s Eve Sunset Singing & Prayer for Our Nation by Candlelight with Kirk Cameron & Friends” and was scheduled to take place at 4:30 p.m. on a Malibu beach (to be announced only hours before the actual event would take place). 

A City of Malibu spokesperson wrote in a prepared statement that the city had been notified of the event and that it was working with the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station to “reach the organizer to inform them that they cannot hold an event in Malibu.”

“The city is coordinating with the sheriffs and other partner agencies to have additional resources available if necessary. In addition, city code enforcement staff will be on call,” the statement continued. Although political protests are protected by the current LA County Safer At Home order, it was not clear whether such a caroling event would qualify as a political demonstration. 

Earlier in the month, Cameron organized a rally at the Oaks Mall in nearby Thousand Oaks, various news outlets reported. That event was allowed to continue despite local outcry.

The Malibu spokesperson wrote that the pandemic was currently at “its most dangerous level since it began.” The week from Dec. 22-28 broke a local record for new cases, with 17 Malibu residents testing positive for the novel coronavirus in that span, the highest number of new cases experienced in Malibu in a single week since testing began in March. ICU capacity across California reached a dire zero percent and, on Thursday, LA County officially reached a total of 10,000 deaths linked to the viral disease.

Cameron said in his social media video that he would never do anything to intentionally harm anyone.

“This COVID thing has been a complete disaster,” the actor said, citing his elderly grandmother whom he said he he loves dearly and is concerned for. “And many of you have elderly, sick relatives, children, people who are in danger of getting very sick and maybe even dying from this virus. I care about them and about you and I pray for you and for them.”

“So you say, well, then why did you do these Christmas caroling things?” the actor asked (rhetorically). “So many doctors have been trying to say this for so long and they’ve been censored. If you just look this stuff up, there is a public health danger that is far worse to the vast majority of the population than the coronavirus,” Cameron said, referring to the emotional toll of lockdowns and social distancing. 

Cameron in his video claimed that the mental health emergency brought on by “draconian” lockdown restrictions is more urgent than the coronavirus itself, which he said “99 percent of people” would recover from if they caught it. He said his caroling events, which take place outside, are meant to give people hope and “a sense of God’s goodness and his faithfulness.”

Emily Sawicki contributed to this report.