Tribeca Festival yanks anti-vaccination film by Texas filmmaker

Robert DeNiro, founder and director of the Tribeca Film Festival, has yanked the anti-vaccination documentary “Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Conspiracy” from the lineup.

Andrew Wakefield (photo: Jay Janner)
Andrew Wakefield (photo: Jay Janner)

Directed by anti-vaccination activist, Austin resident and discredited autism guru Andrew Wakefield, the film and Wakefield were the subjects of a 2015 Statesman story.

Wakefield was stripped of his British medical license in 2010 after his 1998 study linking the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism was found to be fraudulent, a study which largely kicked off the modern anti-vaccination movement.

Last week, De Niro, who has an autistic child, defended the film’s inclusion, then released a statement Saturday saying he had changed his mind after reviewing the film with members of the scientific community.

In a statement, Wakefield said, “We have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art and truth. Tribeca’s action will not succeed in denying the world access to the truth behind the film ‘Vaxxed.'”

 Wakefield, who has maintained his innocence, continues to be one of the most controversial figures in contemporary medicine.

Author: Joe Gross

Joe Gross has covered books, movies, music and culture for the American-Statesman since 2002. He tweets at @joegross.

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