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Robert De Niro Talks Vaccines and Autism on the 'Today' Show

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At the end of March, Robert De Niro, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, announced the anti-vaccine documentary “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” was removed from the festival lineup.

“Vaxxed” is directed by Andrew Wakefield, the former doctor behind a 1998 study published in the medical journal the Lancet that claimed to find links between autism and the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella). The study was retracted by the Lancet in 2010. Wakefield lost his medical license the same year.

De Niro, whose 18-year-old son is on the autism spectrum, released a statement following the decision, stating:

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. 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.

On Wednesday, De Niro appeared on the “Today” show to talk about the controversy. “I think the movie is something that people should see,” he says in the interview below, adding that he hasn’t fully explored the backlash.

“I, as a parent of a child who has autism, I’m concerned,” De Niro says, “And I want to know the truth. I’m not anti-vaccine. I want safe vaccines.”

Watch the interview below. De Niro discusses “Vaxxed” around the 2:15 mark.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Josh Jensen 

Originally published: April 13, 2016
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