Back in late March, acting legend Robert De Niro perplexed a lot of people by defending the inclusion of a particular documentary about the anti-vaccination movement in the Tribeca Film Festival. The film, Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, was directed by Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who linked the MMR vaccine to autism, a false finding that cost him his medical license, but which many in the anti-vaccination movement cling to. De Niro initially argued that he wanted to screen the film to open up a conversation about vaccinations and autism, but then pulled the film, saying that “we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.”
In an interview at the Cannes Film Festival with Vulture, De Niro defended the film again, saying, “The movie is not hurting anybody. It says something.” De Niro then expresses puzzlement over how Wakefield’s claims were discredited, and asserts that while vaccines themselves are valuable, they’re not tested as thoroughly as other medicines are. De Niro also believes that because vaccines are a big business, then mentions the CDC before trailing off with his comments.
But the actor is done with Vaxxed. He’s taking matters into his own hands, as he tells Vulture:
No, I’m working on something else. Harvey Weinstein and I are working on doing a documentary, but I don’t what to talk much about it, because when I talk about it, something happens. But that’s what we plan to try to do.
It’ll be interesting to see how this supposed documentary turns out. Will De Niro include the misconception that vaccines still contain mercury? It will also be interesting to see if the documentary includes the advances in medicine that vaccines represent, including a 100 percent effective Ebola vaccine trial, and that polio might be the third disease to be completely eradicated because of vaccines.