×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Robert DeNiro Responds to Anti-Vaccination Movie Controversy

The Tribeca Film Festival is facing serious backlash for including anti-vaccination documentary “Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe” from doctor-turned-documentarian Andrew Wakefield into its 2016 lineup.

Wakefield is a fervent believer in the link between vaccination and autism. He has also been the subject of many controversies, including being accused of professional misconduct and falsifying information as early as 1998 in one of his research papers. Wakefield’s bio on the festival’s page for the documentary mentions the research paper and study but not that it was later discredited.

Many called for a response about the festival’s decision. Robert DeNiro, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, defended the choice to include the film, even though he doesn’t endorse the content.

“Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined. In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming. However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening VAXXED. I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.”

His statement spurred more negative reactions on Twitter, many questioning his decision to include such a controversial film if he in fact doesn’t support the anti-vaccination movement.

Including the film has prompted some to categorized the festival’s decision as “irresponsible” and called out the film for being “dishonest” and “one-sided” in its message.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no link between vaccination and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, in a statement on the org’s website says “vaccines are very important” and “parents must make the decision whether to vaccinate their children.”

He adds that, “If parents decide not to vaccinate they must be aware of the consequences in their community and their local schools.”

The film premieres on April 24 at the Tribeca Film Festival, which will include a conversation with the filmmakers after the screening.

 

 

 

More Film

  • Shailene Woodley probation Dakota Pipeline protest

    Cannes: Infotainment China Media Snaps Up "Misanthrope"

    Chinese sales and distribution company Infotainment China Media has bought the China rights to “Misanthrope,” the new serial killer thriller starring Shailene Woodley, from FilmNation Entertainment at Cannes. Woodley (“Big Little Lies”, the “Divergent” franchise”) will play a cop recruited by the FBI to hunt down a murderer. Damian Szifron (“Wild Tales”) and Jonathan Wakeham [...]

  • Watch Karen O & Danger Mouse’s

    Watch Karen O & Danger Mouse’s ‘Encounter With Lux Prima’ Documentary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Karen O & Danger Mouse’s “Lux Prima” is one of the year’s best albums so far — but it’s more than an album. “An Encounter with Lux Prima – The Art of Collaboration,” a short documentary chronicling the 18-month development of their multisensory art installation “An Encounter With Lux Prima” premieres today exclusively on Variety. [...]

  • Willem Dafoe Talks 'The Lighthouse' and

    Willem Dafoe on His New Films 'The Lighthouse' and 'Tommaso,' Robert Pattinson as Batman

    Willem Dafoe has spent the last two awards seasons on the campaign trail. The actor earned back-to-back Oscar nominations for his work in 2017’s “The Florida Project” and for last year’s “At Eternity’s Gate.” And if the critical reaction to “The Lighthouse” is any indication, he’ll be back on it soon. “The Lighthouse” is director [...]

  • Official First Look at the Women

    'Terminator: Dark Fate': Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger Return in First Trailer

    The Resistance’s war against Skynet rages on with the sixth installment of the “Terminator” series, “Terminator: Dark Fate.” The first trailer for the latest movie dropped on Thursday. The clip opens with two franchise newcomers, Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes, as they’re being pursued by a Terminator (Gabriel Luna), one that seems to have some [...]

  • Malcom McLaren’s Son Joe Corré Preps

    Malcom McLaren’s Son Joe Corré Preps ‘Wake Up Punk’ Feature Doc (EXCLUSIVE)

    Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s son Joe Corré has voiced his opposition to a Sex Pistols feature film in the works, and is about to launch his own project, “Wake Up Punk.” The feature documentary will follow events after his decision to burn punk memorabilia worth millions of pounds. John Lydon has already tweeted that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content