Robert De Niro has pulled the controversial anti-vaccine film Vaxxed from the NYC Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
The movie accuses the CDC of a cover-up regarding scientific research that links common vaccines with the rise in autism. De Niro’s intention had been to facilitate more conversation around the issue, which is close to his heart as his son, Elliot, is autistic. His subsequent discussions with festival organizers and the scientific community appear to have prompted the change of heart, though the film’s makers have labeled the move as censorship.
The anti-vaccine movement has grown in recent years, fueled by parental support and mentions in the political arena by prominent presidential candidates. Nonetheless, most mainstream studies indicate no harmful link between the MMR vaccine and the development of autism, gaining anti-vaccine activists the reputation as something of a fringe movement.