Actor Robert De Niro is pulling a controversial anti-vaccination documentary from his Tribeca Film Festival.
In a statement Saturday to Buzz Feed News
, De Niro said the film by controversial researcher Andrew Wakefield, titled "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe," was meant to generate conversation about autism, calling the issue "deeply personal to me and my family."
De Niro has revealed
he and his wife Grace Hightower have an autistic son.
"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," he said in the statement.
The festival begins
Wakefield first made headlines with a 1998 study published in The Lancet that claimed the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was linked to autism. His study was later debunked
, and the journal retracted the
According to CBS New
s,the film focuses on the whistleblower claim of a Dr.William Thompson, who told Brian Hooker, a bioengineer and anti-vaccine crusader that the CDC manipulated data in a 2004 study that found no link between vaccines and autism.
"The Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy," De Niro's statement said. "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."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.