(Photo: Lane Chaplin/Twitter)
Evangelical icon and actor Kirk Cameron said in a recent interview that the attention centered on a viral photo of him from 2011 proves how misdirected the media's priorities currently are.
Cameron said the attention paid to the photo, which was taken during a birthday celebration at Living Waters Ministry in Bellflower, Calif., in October 2011, serves as "such a sad commentary on how bad our press and media has gotten."
"There are massively important things happening in our country and world and they want to report a lame story about a birthday party that wasn't even a birthday party," Cameron told Kara Spak of the Chicago Sun-Times in a recent interview.
Cameron is referencing the October 2011 picture taken of him celebrating his 41st birthday which quickly went viral after being uploaded to the Internet.
The photo, which was uploaded to Twitter by Lane Chaplin, a student at nearby Trinity Law School who attended the birthday party, shows Cameron blowing out a set of birthday candles on a cake in the ministry office's conference room.
The photo gained a wide amount of media attention predominately because the image shows only two people accompanying Cameron in the dimly lit room.
Several media outlets online mocked the photo, teasing that it implied Kirk Cameron had no friends, although one person attending the party later clarified to Yahoo's The Cutline that there were 10 to15 people standing behind the camera.
Others used Photoshop to make it appear like more people were standing next to Cameron in the shot.
While some found the photo to be funny, others argued that the media's attack on Cameron was mean-spirited.
"Kirk Cameron isn't sad, he has Jesus in his heart and on his side … the one that is sad is the person who found it necessary to write this article and twist it around," commented one reader on New York Magazine's Vulture blog.
Others echoed the recent sentiment of Cameron regarding the photo, arguing that too much attention is being paid to the photo.
"I do think some of us believers on here are going a little over the top with our defense of Kirk over this picture. I seriously don't think Kirk is losing much sleep over it," wrote another commenter.
Although Cameron did address this photo in his recent interview with the Chicago-Sun Times, the real focus of his interview revolved around his "Love Worth Fighting For" nationwide tour, during which Cameron speaks to Christians about the importance of maintaining a strong marriage, as well as a strong relationship with God.
The tour, which also features Christian musician Warren Barfield, will be making stops in cities in Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio in June.
Cameron starred in the highly-popular 1980s sitcom "Growing Pains," and he has since starred in such movies as "Fireproof" and "Left Behind," as well as produced his own film, "Monumental."