After initially defending the inclusion of the controversial doc Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro is now saying the movie is no longer welcome to screen at his film showcase.
De Niro, who received a lot of criticism for giving a platform to the movie from notorious anti-vaccine icon Andrew Wakefield, issued a statement yesterday explaining the reason Vaxxed had been pulled. The 72-year-old actor previously noted that as a parent of a child with autism he felt the film offered “the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.” That stance has changed with De Niro removing the documentary from the schedule after consulting with the festival and the scientific community.
Vaxxed co-writer and director Andrew Wakefield is an incredibly controversial figure in the medical community for his views on vaccines in relation to autism. Repeated studies have indicated that there is no evidence childhood vaccines can be linked to autism, but that hasn’t Wakefield or his supporters from insisting there is a correlation. Wakefield’s 1998 paper suggesting a link between the common MMR vaccine and autism has since been retracted from the journal that published it and his medical licence has been revoked.
The Tribeca Film Festival, which is now Vaxxed-free, will open on April 13 and close on April 24.
(via The Guardian)