Robert De Niro refuses to show anti-vaccine documentary at Tribeca

  • AFP, New York
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2016 18:59 IST
Robert De Niro said that after reviewing the documentary along with members from the scientific community, they do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion that he had hoped for. De Niro has a child with autism. (REUTERS)

A documentary that claims to have a link between vaccines and autism by former British medical researcher has been removed from the list of films to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Robert De Niro, the festival’s founder said.

Vaxxed: From Cover-UP to Catastrophe had drawn protests from critics who said including the film in the festival line-up amounted to siding with the anti-vaccine movement spawned by the discredited research.

“My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family,” De Niro, who has a child with autism, said in a statement.

Read: Robert De Niro is only one whose feet I’ve touched, says Farhan Akhtar

“But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.”

The film’s director, Andrew Wakefield, is the researcher whose 1998 paper claiming a link between the MMR vaccine and autism set off an anti-vaccine movement that medical authorities say has led to deaths from outbreaks of preventable childhood diseases like measles.

Read: My competition is with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, says Anupam Kher

A probe by the British General Medical Council found that Wakefield had acted “dishonestly” in publishing his results.

Watch the trailer of Vaxxed: From Cover-UP to Catastrophe here:

British medical journal The Lancet retracted its publication of the study, saying parts of it had been falsified. Wakefield was subsequently barred from practicing medicine in Britain.

Read: Scorsese and De Niro to reunite after 20 years in The Irishman

“The festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy,” De Niro said.

“However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the festival programme. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”

The Tribeca Film Festival runs April 13-24.

also read

At Mumbai film fest, Cecilia cries out about child trafficking
Show comments