De Niro Pulls VAXXED from Tribeca: Cop Out or Brilliant?

by Sarah VaccinationComments: 23

vaxxed from cover up to catastrophe

The Tribeca Film Festival was in the news in a big way in recent days when festival co-founder and celebrity actor Robert De Niro caused a media firestorm with his controversial decision to screen the documentary VAXXED.

VAXXED is a film is about the Centers for Disease Control’s involvement and cover-up of research demonstrating a causal relationship between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, most prominently in African-American boys.

Dr. William Thompson, the Senior CDC Scientist who led the agency’s 2004 study on the MMR vaccine and its link to autism revealed the cover-up to Environmental Biologist Brian Hooker PhD in a series of taped phone conversations.

Robert De Niro’s original defense of the film apparently occurred after a one-hour conversation with United States Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL), who has interacted directly and at length with Dr. Thompson and whose legal team has scrutinized the documents that prove fraud at the CDC.

De Niro stated the following in defense of his decision to award VAXXED a coveted spot on the Tribeca line-up:

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.

Then, abruptly, Mr. De Niro changed his mind, stating the following the very next day:

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 Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. 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.

While De Niro has been accused of being a flip flopper, I am not so sure.

De Niro is no dummy and as a celebrity for many decades, is clearly an expert at “working” the media to his advantage. He surely knew far in advance the huge brouhaha that would be caused by his decision to award VAXXED a coveted position on the Tribeca screening lineup and make a big announcement about it.

Is it possible that De Niro very consciously used the publicity to actually help the film? In other words, could he have known all along that he would be forced to pull VAXXED due to the strong ties of Tribeca Enterprises, which owns the film festival, to the pharmaceutical industry?

I think this is very feasible for two reasons. First, the timing of his very personal statement about why he had decided to carry VAXXED at the Tribeca Film Festival. It curiously came on the Friday of one of the biggest extended holiday weekends of the year. Secondly, De Niro’s announcement pulling VAXXED from the line-up shockingly came the very next day, which generated even more froth and a second huge spike on the story – again, occurring over the long holiday weekend causing the spin doctors from the pharma industry to scramble and have less than a perfect shot at snuffing it out quickly. Hence, the film got tremendous publicity and the story got maximum mileage in the media before the predictable attempts to kill it (remember: major media has refused to cover Dr. Thompson’s whistleblower story for close to 2 years!).

If you think that’s a crazy idea, think of it this way.

Can you name even one of the films screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in recent years?

Ok. Let’s make it easier.

Name one film that will be screened at Tribeca this year?

I know I can’t, and my guess is that you probably can’t either.

One thing is for sure. Millions more people know about VAXXED now than before even if the film had never been removed from the Tribeca line-up and was screened as originally announced.

Whether De Niro cleverly devised this whole thing or not, it has clearly worked to the film’s benefit.

Below is the trailer for VAXXED in case you haven’t seen it yet.  This whole story is far from over.  Stay tuned!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (23)

  • Julie

    A review of Vaxxed and other movies. thoughtful-living.org/2016/05/27/featured/vaxxed-vaccines-and-the-alarming-growth-of-autism/

    June 13th, 2016 3:40 pm Reply
  • Lucy

    Just saw this, Robert Deniro talking about the Vaxxed movie.
    today.com/video/robert-de-niro-on-anti-vaccine-film-controversy-let-s-find-out-the-truth-665031235642

    April 13th, 2016 2:26 pm Reply
  • Sandy

    I appreciate you discussing this. Honestly I think his life was probably threatened. I haven’t seen it yet, but from what you say I believe it’s too convincing for him to have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t address things the way he had liked. If someone of his caliber had endorsed this it would have changed the world as we know it.

    April 3rd, 2016 1:32 am Reply
  • Kelly

    Interesting. . . I’d love to see more research on vaccines in general. Like, De Niro, I don’t think there’s enough evidence to draw any certain conclusions about whether they do cause any long term problems or are safe. My main issues are that we source vaccines from animals (or aborted fetuses) sometimes, and you don’t really get a choice in that when you go to a clinic. The choice would be nice.

    However, one thing about the anti-vax movement that irks me especially is that they talk about autistism like a bad thing. It’s not. Temple Grandin, despite all of the trouble she ran into going through traditional private schools and getting to accepted by her peers, believes autism is helpful in some cases. Her logic on it is hard to disagree with. Autistic people can see the world in ways the rest of us simply can’t, and can solve problems using that unique perspective. For example, they may have heightened visual skills that allow them to solve engineering or design issues.

    Furthermore, when autism was studied by Hans Asperger in the first place, he realized that their ability to focus on one talent could lead to immense success. Which is no surprise. Have you ever talked to an autistic person about what their really passionate about? They can talk in great detail often, and think about it all so much that they could spot errors that have set us back decades. Maybe errors in a medical trial about vaccines. . .

    March 30th, 2016 11:58 am Reply
    • Sarah

      I don’t think anyone can say autism is a good thing or helpful in any way when the symptoms involve being nonverbal, banging one’s head against the wall or flapping arms and being otherwise uncommunicative with the world around them. The majority of autistic people need help for the rest of their lives and won’t be self sufficient or able to take care of themselves. I have a high functioning (likely genius) Asperger’s brother who graduated from college with a double major in less than 3 years and even he needs help from others as an adult taking care of basic things although he is able to drive a car, shop and earn a living just fine. What is going to happen when the parents of all these autistic children get too old to take care of them? I think there will be hundreds perhaps thousands of Autism Homes needed (as compared with Nursing Homes) … and it’s coming very soon in the not too distant future.

      March 30th, 2016 1:04 pm Reply
      • laura

        my nephew (13 old) has also been diagnosed with Asperger, did your brother ever try the GAPS diet? did it help him in any way?

        April 1st, 2016 1:15 pm Reply
        • Sarah

          My brother is 60 years old .. so no, he never did the GAPS diet because it didn’t exist then nor did any other autism healing protocols, unfortunately! All of that was far too late to help him.

          April 1st, 2016 2:10 pm Reply
    • Redpill1

      CDC Chief Admits that Vaccines Trigger Autism
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-nkD5LSIg&x-yt-cl=85114404&x-yt-ts=1422579428

      124 Research Papers Supporting the Vaccine/Autism Link
      https://www.scribd.com/doc/220807175/124-Research-Papers-Supporting-the-Vaccine-Autism-Link

      Transcripts of meeting can be found: Scientific Review of Vaccine Safety Datalink Information June 7-8, 2000 Simpsonwood Retreat Center Norcross, Georgia. http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/media/2.9.pdf

      April 2nd, 2016 3:06 pm Reply
  • Shirley Guertin

    I just read today that last year Robert De Niro’s wife Grace was behind another movie on autism at the Tribeca FF. Does anyone know about that? EXACTLY!! Brilliant marketing

    March 29th, 2016 4:56 pm Reply
  • Mary Godley

    I think it was possibly a publicity stunt as Robert De Niro has a child with autism, so he would be accustomed to hearing about the corporate interests and the politics behind autism that only those of us with a child with autism can really understand. Robert De Niro knows what happened to his child snd If this wasn’t an intentional PR stunt, he may just have realized a little too late that even his fame wouldn’t be enough to appease the Pharmaceutical Industry’s panic over this documentary film. So then he immediately pulled it knowing at that stage that the story of ‘Vaxxed: From Coverup to Controversy,’ would then run and run in the media as it is doing. Either way I say well done to him.

    March 29th, 2016 9:15 am Reply
    • Sarah

      Thanks for sharing Mary. And to those who think he pulled VAXXED because it would be bad for his career, I say not a chance. Mr. De Niro is far too established and respected an actor to worry about that. He can fund his own projects if need be too. I don’t think he was worried about blacklisting at all but instead calculated a huge publicity boost for the film by doing exactly what he did. BRAVO.

      March 29th, 2016 11:50 am Reply
  • santh

    good post

    March 29th, 2016 2:57 am Reply
  • Josh

    Sarah, Thank you for this post. Even if his intent was not about marketing, I do think the effect is similar to what you say. I have heard of the movie Vaxxed, but have never seen it. The fact that De Niro even briefly endorsed this movie certainly piqued my interest. I enjoy and respect him as an actor. I will now probably watch the movie now. Thank you De Niro!

    March 28th, 2016 8:38 pm Reply
  • B

    Yes! And because of his announcements, there has been a Change.org petition established, asking the Tribeca Film Festival to bring “VAXXED From Cover Up to Catastrophe” back. Here is the link:

    https://www.change.org/p/tribeca-bring-vaxxed-back-to-tribeca?recruiter=38472473&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_page&u

    Everyone needs to be educated about what’s been going on at the CDC, to cover up and destroy evidence of the damage vaccines have been inflicting on babies, children and adults. They need to know that they’ve been lied to by the CDC, in the hopes that they’re too stupid to figure it out. Millions of people DO know, however, despite the fact that the news media doesn’t do it’s job of informing with investigative journalism. Most of their advertising dollars come from the Pharmaceutical companies, so they just read what’s handed to them, they no longer investigate to find out the truth. Shame on everyone involved in these lies. We have a nation of damaged people from vaccines. Not just autism, there is other damage that comes from the shocking, toxic, cancer-causing, DNA-altering ingredients, that have resulted from vaccines.

    In the trailer for “VAXXED From Cover Up to Catastrophe”, Dr. Jim Sears, pediatrician formerly from The Doctors, says: “Everything I’ve been telling my patients for the last 10 years, has been based on a lie and a cover up!” It’s time for the rest of this country and the world, to finally know what we’ve all known for years, and ALL of those responsible or linked in any way to the withholding of information to the public, should be fiercely held accountable, for the sake of the rest of humankind!

    March 28th, 2016 2:25 pm Reply
    • Kayla Wildman

      B, Well said! I’m the parent of a vaccine-injured child, and I agree with everything you’ve said. And thanks for posting the link to the Change.org petition — I will sign it right now.

      March 30th, 2016 2:04 pm Reply
  • Margaret

    Very good point. I agree.

    March 28th, 2016 11:34 am Reply
  • Karen

    Ah, Sarah, the eternal optimist… While this story was big in the community which already supported the ideas in the film as much as we can decipher what it’s about, the vaccinating community only reads “scientists don’t endorse this film” if they gave a hoot and read any of our posts about it at all. Then, they rolled over, as my friend Brad would say, and went back to sleep. If this were a stunt, it only brought enough attention to the film to continue to make us all look stupid and wrong to anyone that might have ever had a chance at being curious and watching it to potentially change their stance. Unfortunately, if it did any marketing, it just caused an enraged group of people to want to spend money to purchase the film to be validated. How many parents of children with autism need to spend their hard earned dollars purchasing a film independently that says everything we’ve already researched? No sense in it gaining marketable publicity to people who already understand the grave reality caused by the campaign of vaccines being “safe and effective” and the lies in the CDC. You’re reading my comment but those who disagree with us or might have actually heard us having this discussion and benefited from it can’t make out the sound of this discussion over their own loud, loud snoring.

    March 28th, 2016 11:21 am Reply
    • Sarah

      I honestly don’t think it matters if the “science” shills come out in force against the film. There are plenty of scientists and doctors who are now refuting them more and more forcefully and you can’t get more convincing than Dr. Thompson himself who was a Senior CDC Scientist and is the main focus of the film.

      MOST parents, pro-vax or not, are at least somewhat uneasy about vaccinating (they worry that what they have been told for so long is a lie and no one likes their kid to scream and run a fever or worse after a jab). Most people also have questions and doubts about the integrity of the pharmaceutical industry in general. If a parent or future parent sees the controversy surrounding VAXXED, I feel quite sure most will make an effort to screen it in the privacy of their own home. And, if they see it, they won’t be vaxing!

      March 28th, 2016 12:53 pm Reply
      • Sandy

        Sarah, what can we to do in California, now that we are being forced to vaccinate in order to attend school? We can’t move or homeschool. Any suggestions?

        March 28th, 2016 1:46 pm Reply
        • Yvette

          Sandy – you can homeschool your children and provide them with an excellent education (unlike what they will receive in public school). Take a look at what is offered at this link: http://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/public/main.cfm

          March 28th, 2016 7:07 pm Reply
        • Kayla Wildman

          Sandy, don’t give up on the option of homeschooling. Even families in which both parents must work full time are finding ways to homeschool. Join one or two of the Facebook groups for families forced into homeschooling by SB277, and you will find lots of information, help, and support. (Two groups I know of are Homeschooling After SB277 and SB277 Homeschool Info.)

          March 30th, 2016 2:17 pm Reply
      • Sarah Rivera

        I sure hope your right because most people look at me like I’m crazy when i tell them why we no longer vaccinate. And the fb groups regarding this issue bring up over and over how parents who do vaccinate are use to how their child reacts to the shots even though o the point of warning the daycare that having a seizure is quite “normal!!” These parents cannot fathom the idea that the govt would allow any harm to children after “All the research the pharmaceutical companies conduct” or how or why would the fda approve it if they were harmful??

        March 28th, 2016 11:40 pm Reply
        • Sarah

          Given how challenged the majority of children are today with one or more health, behavior or learning problems, if people look at me like I’m crazy I take that as a sign I’m probably on the right track. When I told one doctor that I didn’t vaccinate, his response was “oh, they must be healthy then” and he was SERIOUS. Many conventional doctors know the truth but are afraid to speak out as they might get censured or worse from the AMA.

          March 29th, 2016 7:58 am Reply

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