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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Festival Drops Wakefield Film

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.  

The Tribeca Film Festival has reversed its stance on screening controversial anti-vaccination documentary Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe. In a statement, actor and festival co-founder Robert De Niro reiterated his earlier comments, saying, "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." He adds, however, that "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."
At Deadline, Jeremy Gerard quotes a statement by Wakefield and producure Del Bigtree:
“Robert De Niro’s original defense of the film happened Friday after a one-hour conversation between De Niro and Bill Posey, the congressman who has interacted directly and at length with the CDC Whistleblower (William Thompson) and whose team has scrutinized the documents that prove fraud at the CDC.
“It is our understanding that persons from an organization affiliated with the festival have made unspecified allegations against the film,” the statement continued, “claims that we were given no opportunity to challenge or redress. We were denied due process. 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.”
The statement did not explain how the filmmakers had been denied due process, when no issue of law has been raised with respect to the film. Nor did it address how Vaxxedwas being censored by losing its platform at TFF. No effort is being made to keep the film out of the marketplace. As reported earlier by Deadline, the selection of the anti-vaccination documentary prompted an outcry from doctors, researchers and activists against the largely discredited science behind the film.