Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe–Tribeca Film Fest Pulls Controversial Docu

The Tribeca Film Fest has pulled a controversial anti-vaccination documentary just a day after festival co-founder De Niro publicly defended the decision to show Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.

“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 a 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” is co-written and directed by Andrew Wakefield, a former surgeon and medical researcher who published a discredited 1998 research paper that claimed that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was linked to autism. De Niro and his wife, Grace Hightower, have an autistic child.

“The Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy,” De Niro’s statement continues. “However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”