Several sources report that Robert De Niro was the power behind the throne that got Mr. Andy Wakefield’s propaganda film, about a so-called CDC whistleblower, on the Tribeca Film Festival’s lineup. Many of us had an inkling that De Niro was involved, because he has an autistic child. But I was skeptical until just a while ago.
Earlier today, the ethereal Orac received an email from Tribeca Film Festival that confirmed De Niro’s participation:
[infobox icon=”quote-left”]I wanted to provide you with following statement from Robert De Niro, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, regarding Vaxxed at the Festival:
“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.”
I am sympathetic to De Niro’s personal association with the autism issue. But there are no “discussions” about vaccines and autism. Vaccines are absolutely not related to autism – science speaks in black and white, and in this case, there is no debate.
What this propaganda film does is cause people to not vaccinate their children, putting them at risk of many vaccine preventable diseases. Wakefield is a fraud – that has been established by boatloads of evidence, including his inability to get a judgement against his accusers who have stated that fact.
If De Niro thinks that vaccines cause autism, then he should take is millions of dollars that he’s earned from his movies, and fund a great autism research center that relies upon science and evidence to speak to what causes autism.
Instead, he’s going to allow the cunning fraud, Andy Wakefield, lie to an audience with the passive, or more probably, the active support of one of our generation’s greatest actors.
As the elegantly subtle Orac says:
[infobox icon=”quote-left”]I almost feel sorry for Mr. De Niro. Almost. He’s about to be besieged by antivaccine cranks, who will now look at him as a hero and try to get him to support all sorts of wacky quack and pseudoscience causes. I hope he likes his new admirers.
Actually, I do feel a bit sorry for Mr. De Niro. He’s now finding out the hard way why those of us who’ve studie him say that Andrew Wakefield discredits anything he touches. That now includes the Tribeca Film Festival.[/infobox]
I actually don’t care what celebrities say. In general, they are uneducated fools whose purpose in life is to create an illusion for the audience. But I have a policy – I do not pay a penny to any actor who tries to intentionally harm people through their ignorance and foolishness. Vaxxed will hurt children.
Even if only one child isn’t vaccinated because of the pseudoscience and lies in this fake documentary, that’s one child too many. Is Robert De Niro willing to risk one child based on a fraud and conman’s lies?
Thus, I will never watch another movie by De Niro. He’ll still get millions for each movie he does, no one will care about me.
But I’m on the side of science and truth. He’s not. Children will lose in the long run.
Tara Haelle just wrote an article saying that Robert De Niro “just broke my heart.” Yeah. That.
Unless you aren’t closely following this story, Robert De Niro and the Tribeca Film Festival removed the documentary from the schedule. They listened.