Tell Robert De Niro: Please Keep Seeking the Truth about Vaccines!
Actor Robert De Niro (rightfully) took some heat for allowing the Tribeca Film Festival to censor the film "VAXXED--From Cover-Up to Catastrophe" after initially supporting the films' screening.
But in an April 13 interview with the "Today Show," De Niro stood up for the film, telling the interviewers "Let's find out the truth." De Niro also did interviews with FOX News and NBC, in which reporters tried to discredit the film and downplay the risks of vaccines. But each time, De Niro stood up for the film and urged people to watch it.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Robert De Niro: Please keep seeking the truth about vaccines!
“VAXXED - From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” is a documentary film based on claims by Dr. William Thompson that he and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lied about the results of their own study, a study showing a link between the MMR vaccine and the rise of autism in African American boys.
The film, directed by Andrew Wakefield and produced by Del Bigtree, features journalist Ben Swann who examines Thompson’s claims through interviews he conducts with doctors, journalists, authors and former CDC specialists.
Swann poured over the thousands of pages of documents relating to the 2004 CDC study on autism and vaccines. The documents were originally obtained by Thompson, an epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center of Birth Defects and Development Disabilities. Thompson hired an attorney to force the CDC to hand the documents over to Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.).
In December 2015, Swann was the first journalist to obtain the documents from Congressman Posey.
According to reports, Thompson admitted that he and his co-authors “scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room, and reviewed and went through all the hardcopy documents that we had thought we should discard, and put them into a huge garbage can.”
Ultimately, despite the evidence they’d uncovered (and subsequently destroyed), Thompson and his co-authors published a report, which ran in the “Pediatrics” medical journal, concluding they’d found no link between vaccines and autism and that no racial group is more likely to be damaged by vaccines.
Now You See It, Now You Don’t
Actor Robert De Niro originally defended his decision to screen "VAXXED" at the Tribeca Film Festival. In a statement widely reported in the media, De Niro said:
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.
But De Niro was pressured, allegedly by other filmakers who threatened to pull out of the festival, into canceling the film's screening. On March 26, he issued this statement to “The Hollywood Reporter:”
"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. 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."
The controversy sparked a round of television interviews in which De Niro, who has an 18-year-old son diagnosed with autism, defended both the film, and the filmmaker, Wakefield, who has also been under attack from the $1-trillion pharmaceutical industry. Alliance for Natural Health defends Wakefield:
Much of the media so far has focused on Andrew Wakefield’s close involvement with the film. We see a huge ramping up of efforts by the media to associate the film with a supposedly ‘disgraced’ Andrew Wakefield. Those who apportion this attribute to Wakefield’s name generally know little about how the UK’s General Medical Council managed to strike this wholly competent doctor, gastroenterologist and researcher from the medical register. Most have also not kept pace with the increasing evidence that points to the potential for the MMR vaccine (among other environmental insults) being a likely trigger for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
By 2010, the U.S. Court of Claims had awarded nearly $3 billion dollars, under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, to vaccine victims for their catastrophic vaccine injuries—including autism. Given this fact, why is it far-fetched to trust scientists who report links between vaccines and autism?
The bottom line is this. "VAXXED" is a film about cover-up and corruption in the CDC—a government agency, funded by your taxes, and entrusted with your health. De Niro was right to feature the film at the festival, he is right to continue defending it, and we hope he will continue to speak out publicly about the need to seek the truth about vaccines and their possible links to autism and other health problems.