Robert De Niro Defends Anti-Vax Film Screening

Robert De Niro responded Friday to controversy surrounding the scheduled screening of Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe next month at his Tribeca Film Festival. The film’s director, Andrew Wakefield, is a discredited doctor who has crusaded on an alleged linkage between vaccines and autism. Critics suggest Tribeca is giving voice to dangerous pseudo-science that could cost children’s lives. “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,” De Niro said in a statement defending the screening. “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.”