De Niro pulls anti-vaccination film from Tribeca film festival

After a backlash, Robert De Niro has removed a controversial anti-vaccination film from the lineup at his Tribeca Film Festival, according to Newsweek.

The film, called "Vaxxed," is the product of director Andrew Wakefield, a former gastroenterologist and medical researcher known for his anti-vaccination advocacy. On the film's website, a statement from Dr. Wakefield and producer Del Bigtree reads, "We have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art and truth."

Mr. De Niro's decision has been lauded by health experts like Arthur Caplan, PhD, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University, who, according to Newsweek, categorized the film as "nonsense on stilts."

"It's a rehash of worries about autism, the scientific community basically had a justifiable conniption, including me," Dr. Caplan told Newsweek in regards to the backlash the film generated among the medical community. "Wakefield is a guy who's been adjudicated many times. Nobody believes it anymore. It's a settled issue. He's been disgraced."

Steve Silberman, author of "NeuroTribes," a book about autism, told Newsweek, "When a well-respected celebrity like Robert De Niro, who himself has an autistic child, appears to lend his own credibility to Andrew Wakefield's debunked nonsense, it has's very important that De Niro reconsidered."

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