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article imageDe Niro changes course, pulls anti-vaccine film from Tribeca Fest

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 27, 2016 in Entertainment
The Tribeca Film Festival and co-founder Robert De Niro have announced a program change, cancelling a decision to show the anti-MMR vaccine film, 'Vaxxed,' at this year's festival. De Niro said he was the one to schedule the film but has now removed it.
De Niro cancels film
In cancelling the film Saturday, but one day after announcing its inclusion in the April 13-24 film festival, De Niro said he'd made the decision to schedule Vaxxed in part because he has a personal interest in the subject as one of his children is autistic.
“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 said in his statement.
“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.”
Vaxxed was directed by the controversial Andrew Wakefield, a disgraced former medical researcher from the U.K., who claimed a study he conducted in the late 90s on 12 children showed the MMR vaccine caused autism.
Wakefield also claims, without evidence, that the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies, have conspired to cover up a link between vaccines and autism.
Wakefield debunked
In 2010, a medical tribunal in the U.K. found Wakefield guilty of four counts of dishonesty and 12 of abusing developmentally challenged children; he was banned from ever again practicing medicine in that country. He now resides in the U.S. where he continues speaking against vaccines.
Despite it being shown that his motive was financial gain and his study rife with error and riddled with factual misrepresentations, and his work having been thoroughly debunked in the medical and scientific communities, his claims continued to spread and vaccinations have fallen off.
There's been a resurgence of measles and whooping cough and last year there were cases in the Canadian province of Ontario and in New York state, California and other U.S. states, and elsewhere. The outbreaks have been blamed upon parents refusing to vaccinate children.
Wakefield was to have appeared live at Tribeca after the screening to talk to the audience and engage in a question and answer period. He has not yet publicly reacted to the cancelling of Vaxxed at Tribeca.
Wakefield's study has been called "the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years."
More about Tribeca film festival, Tribeca film festival, vaxxed, vaxxed, antivaccine
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