Robert De Niro pulls anti-vaccination documentary from Tribeca Film Festival

Robert De Niro Stars in Powerful Eric Roth Short Film
Robert De Niro Stars in Powerful Eric Roth Short Film

Robert De Niro has reversed his decision to screen an anti-vaccination documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival.

"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," De Niro said in a statement to TheWrap. "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," he continued. "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."

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On Friday, De Niro defended screening the film at the festival he helped found. "I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue," the actor said"

The documentary in question,"Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe" has drawn outcry from many corners including several prominent science-themed publications. Many in the scientific community believe "Vaxxed" director Andrew Wakefield is responsible for helping to create the myth that the MMR vaccine can cause autism.

Thousands of people in the U.K. stopped getting the MMR vaccine and measles proceeded spread throughout the country. The film is also said to examine the conspiracy theory of the 'CDC whistleblower.'