After intense controversy, Robert De Niro announced Saturday that he was pulling an anti-vaccination documentary from the lineup of the Tribeca Film Festival.
The film, Vaxxed, promotes the supposed link between vaccinations and autism—a scientific theory that has been roundly discredited. Worse, it is directed by Andrew Wakefield, the former doctor who was notoriously stripped of his medical license for popularizing the debunked theory.
De Niro, who has an autistic son, had initially said that he wanted to screen the film to generate discussion, but he bowed to pressure on Saturday night.
“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," he said in a statement. "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 Vaxxed team posted its own statement on its website. "We have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art, and truth," it read in part. "Tribeca's action will not succeed in denying the world access to the truth behind the film Vaxxed."