The Tribeca Incident and the Framing of VaXed: MovieMaker Op-Ed
By Phillipe Diaz
When the call came from the heads of the Tribeca Film Festival, specifically Jane Rosenthal and Paula Weinstein, to let my head of distribution, Rich Castro, and me know that they had decided to “de-select” our film Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe, I didn’t want to believe it.
I couldn’t understand how it could even be possible—when the selection had been confirmed publicly by Tribeca co-founder Robert De Niro himself the day before.
Being the distributor of the film and having received all the paperwork confirming the selection, I was in total disbelief, as I had personally advised the filmmakers to submit the film to Tribeca.
The conversation became very heated when I asked the festival executives for the reasons. The answer I received was that they had “issues” with the content of the film. I said, “Fine—let us know what issues you are having and we will give you all the back-up documentation and set you up with the filmmakers so that you can get any clarification you need.” But I got no specific answers.
It was clear that the actual content of the film (a documentary by Andrew Wakefield about Dr. William Thompson, a senior scientist at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who believes that crucial information was omitted in a 2004 report on the Measles-Mumps-Rubella [MMR] vaccine and its link to autism) was not the full cause of the festival’s change of heart. They had already indicated in a previous conversation that their sponsor had issues with the film—specifically, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It became even more heated when I asked Rosenthal and Weinstein, both highly accomplished professionals, if they realized the responsibility they were assuming and the message it would send to the filmmaking world at large. They were effectively telling the festival’s sponsors that it was perfectly OK to censor a film they didn’t like. They were also telling filmmakers around the world that they should only make movies that corporate powers and sponsors alike will approve of, otherwise they will have little chance to ever have their movies seen. I told them they were setting a huge precedent, but it was clear that they could not have cared less.
At RI they're trying to reconcile the fact of today's numbers (autism prevalence) with adult autists (older persons on spectrum). Of course there are some. I don't believe anyone has ever said there were none. As someone who has worked in institutions I know for a fact there were some adults with the label "mental retardation" that would now be called autistic. Some. Certainly not even in the ball park of 1in 45, though! They have also spoken of hanging together vs hanging alone recently. Oh dear!
Posted by: Educator | April 21, 2016 at 08:16 PM
Perhaps 'neo-skeptic' in place of 'anti-vax'? Thereby adopting a more relevant, progressive form of skepticism to represent a critical position towards vaccine policy while allowing potential to highlight the self-proclaimed skeptic's perversion of the term.
Posted by: Eddie Unwind | April 21, 2016 at 08:13 PM
@ Someone, @ Tim Lindeen,
'Pro-vax extremist/s' is not copyrighted; you can use it! 'Extremist' is quite simply the appropriate term for their standpoint. 'Anti-vax' was in my opinion never an appropriate term for the majority of those termed 'anti-vax'. Hence why the extremist viewpoint is increasingly being seen for what it is.
Posted by: Eddie Unwind | April 21, 2016 at 07:09 PM
For Jeannette Bishop and Grace Green,
In case you haven't heard about the UK doctor whose career was recently destroyed b/c she dared to challenge the status quo re. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS):
For Sean Burke,
Vaccine safety studies are NOT done according to the gold standard of medical research, i.e. that of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Rather, the "control group" in vaccine safety trials is given either another vaccine, multiple other vaccines, or an adjuvant (e.g. aluminum; remember that adjuvants cause adverse reactions in and of themselves). Placebos are NOT used (you don't have to think hard to know why). Yet, our inept and corrupt government regulators accept such "safety" studies, to the grave detriment of our children, and to people of all ages.
So, to explain "vaccine safety" studies, I came up with an analogy I like to use:
Saying "Vaccine X", which was tested against "Vaccine Y", is safe because it was no more dangerous or deadly than "Vaccine Y" is analagous to saying that heroin is safe and non-addictive b/c it's no more dangerous or addictive than crack.
Furthermore, there has NEVER been a study undertaken in the U.S. comparing the short- and long-term health and development outcomes of the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated (again, you don't need to think hard to know why). This should have been done before the approval or recommendation of any vaccine, and before the inception of our nation's dastardly vaccine program...for each and every vaccine, and for each and every combination in which they might be given. Of course, had that been done, we would have no vaccine program. The proof would have been in the pudding, so to speak, with the unvaccinated having superior health, development, and longevity as compared to the vaccinated. The study should have included very longterm follow-up, b/c research is now showing that naturally contracting some of the childhood illnesses against which we vaccinate is protective against cancer, both in childhood, and later in life.
Germany, by the way, has conducted such a study, and sure enough, the unvaccinated showed themselves to be far healthier than their vaccinated peers (covered in this article):
We now run into the problem that even unvaccinated children may suffer health and development issues due to the vaccines their parents received. In other words, there are generational effects...which the vaccine profiteers didn't care to take into consideration as they damaged multiple generations in one fell swoop with no regard or regrets.
Posted by: Laura Hayes | April 21, 2016 at 07:00 PM
They are touting all the "other" studies done to show vaccines are safe and if there are all these other studies done around the world than there must be a conspiracy to think vaccines can cause harm. The one question I continually ask but never get answered is "what is the control group" on all these studies. I honestly don't know. It is not unvaccinated kids. Is it kids missing one shot? Kids on delayed schedule? I have no idea
Posted by: Sean Burke | April 21, 2016 at 04:41 PM
Jeannette Bishop, Yes. And it's interesting that there's increasing evidence that Shaken Baby Syndrome is also caused by vaccines. Some people are losing their other children and even going to prison to serve this cover-up!
Posted by: Grace Green | April 21, 2016 at 04:37 PM
"When all is said and done...I believe Tribeca has paid a high price...lost integrity..in order to placate the agenda of their sponsors." : You said it Bob Moffit! Nothing else makes any sense.
This Op-ed was so on target that it even brought out some celebrity trolls.
Posted by: Leah | April 21, 2016 at 03:51 PM
"...it's amazing how Dorit can be 100% wrong/lying/misrepresenting and sound so plausible..."
She sounds just like a troll to me.
Posted by: Linda1 | April 21, 2016 at 02:53 PM
Thompson said that he's stopped lying, that he has great shame when he sees kids with autism because he has been part of the problem and that they found a strong statistically significant finding among black males which they did not report. Pretty clear, no?
But Reiss and Carey want you to believe that Thompson feels shame(!) because he thinks they should have done more research just for the hell of it.
Posted by: Carol | April 21, 2016 at 02:38 PM
March on the CDC Georgia tmrw - Come on Atlanta - DO IT
Posted by: Sophie Scholl | April 21, 2016 at 01:37 PM
@joy b it's amazing how Dorit can be 100% wrong/lying/misrepresenting and sound so plausible...
Posted by: Tim Lundeen | April 21, 2016 at 01:20 PM
@Eddie I love "Pro-vax extremists." We should make this the new meme :-)
Posted by: Tim Lundeen | April 21, 2016 at 01:19 PM
A comment under the op-ed mentions a film The Syndrome (regarding the validity of Shaken Baby Syndrome) that was also opposed but not pulled from a Minnesota film festival.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | April 21, 2016 at 01:15 PM
the film they dont want you to see ...... I like that
JoyB - scream away - more of us should be , given what is at stake
Posted by: Sophie Scholl | April 21, 2016 at 12:41 PM
(Sorry for screaming)
Posted by: Joy B | April 21, 2016 at 12:05 PM
DORIT'S ALREADY ON THE JOB, ladling out the same old moldy oatmeal:
Posted by: Joy B | April 21, 2016 at 12:01 PM
Hmmm…. "Pro-vax extremists." ---I like your terminology! It certainly fits those on the other side like a glove, doesn't it? At the same time, it makes the term "anti-vaxxer" sound kind of blasé and boring by comparison. I think we should adopt this term and spread it widely, applying it to those who want to force their unclean vaccinations upon everyone without delay, exception, or exemption, so as to maintain their cash flow and control.
Posted by: Someone | April 21, 2016 at 11:31 AM
In 2004 another controversial documentary, The Origins of AIDS, had a campaign mounted against it. No doubt Tribeca was lobbied not to show the film and threatened if they did so, but the festival must have been made of sterner stuff back then: https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/archive/512d00521c7d76e0460023eb-origins-of-aids
Posted by: Carol | April 21, 2016 at 11:20 AM
I see that Congressmen Hal Rogers - in Kentucky - from our very district has refused the CDC and President Obama's request for 1.9 billion dollars again.
He said that there was already money set aside for the CDC to combat an emergency epidemic.
Hmmmm where is that money, how much is left, have they spent it all on foundations like the Alfred Sloane foundation - and what is the name of the astroturf parents for vaccines -- what is the name of that organization?
And the like of Singer -- perhaps the cash cow is drying up?
Posted by: Benedetta | April 21, 2016 at 10:46 AM
I woke up this morning to the news on the radio.
Seems like the CDC is whinning to Congress that they need money to fight the Zika virus. Could they have some more - and Congress wanted to know why they could not wait till the next physical year?
The zika virus - sounds like vaccine injuries to me, but that is just me being paranoid -- and I make no apologies when it comes to the CDC -- cause I am not PARANOID ENOUGH!
Probably needing the money to pay all the trolls, and Jane Rosenthal's husband, or ex husband - and sister all involved in the - "professional drug trade", and not that illegal drug trade, both depending heavily on damaged mental health; well, ill health for the entire body.
You know it takes a lot of tax payer money to keep this all under the carpet.
Posted by: Benedetta | April 21, 2016 at 09:42 AM
Perhaps the most threatening aspect of Vaxxed to pro-vax extremists is the one least discussed; that it presumably makes plain (so far as I am aware, not yet having seen it) that one may question the ethical practices of current pro-vaccine ideology without abandoning a pro-vaccine standpoint.
Consequently it marks a turning point - one that has long been simmering - with regard to the nature of discussion concerning vaccine protocol; specifically, one has further grounds to consider the pros and cons of vaccine safety without being regarded as anti-vaccine.
In short, Vaxxed threatens to make the pro-vax extremists' argument - namely, 'you're either in complete agreement with our policy, or you're against us' - seem irrelevant, since another far less bombastic and less offensive argument is waiting - and is at some point certain - to take its place.
Little wonder, then, that the extremists tend not to view Vaxxed at all. It is not so much the fear of not being able to contradict the film's content; after all, it's hardly as though such extremists lack practice in manipulating data. Rather, it is the fear of watching it claim the vital middle-ground - that which is the public's only genuine salvation in such situations, hence why such a platform has been consistently denied - in a persuasive, likely emphatic sort of way.
And once you establish a moderate standpoint, debate must follow. Needless to say, debate signals the end of such an extremist standpoint, for effectively, debate serves as a democratic substitute for all such extremist positions.
Posted by: Eddie Unwind | April 21, 2016 at 08:21 AM
"They were effectively telling the festival’s sponsors that it was perfectly OK to censor a film they didn’t like."
The following quote is attributed to someone representing Tribeca:
"We have a responsibility as artists to challenge the world."
Apparently it is one thing for Tribeca's "fearless artists to challenge the world .. it is quite another to ask "fearless artists" to challenge Tribeca's sponsors.
When all is said and done .. I believe Tribeca has paid a high price .. lost integrity .. in order to placate the agenda of their sponsors.
Posted by: Bob Moffit | April 21, 2016 at 07:03 AM