FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DESPITE CENSORSHIP BY PARIS MAYOR ANNE HIDALGO, FACTIONS WITHIN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND A U.K. THEATRE, AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY, VAXXED: FROM COVER-UP TO CATASTROPHE, PREMIERES IN EUROPE
February 10, 2017 – America’s most controversial documentary, Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, will premiere in Belgium, the U.K and France this week despite significant censorship attempts by European Union parliamentary members, the Mayor of Paris and a U.K. cinema owner. The film investigates the charges made by a whistleblower at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading national public health institute of the United States, who revealed that the agency manipulated data on an important study showing a causal link between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.
Vaxxed captured international headlines last year after it was “de-selected” from the Tribeca Film Festival due to pressure put on the festival’s organizers from sponsors with connections to the pharmaceutical industry. Despite numerous attempts at incorrectly labeling the film as “anti-vaccine” and overt censorship from festivals and media outlets, the film was released theatrically in over 60 U.S and Canadian cities, with an additional 500 screening events, has grossed over $1.2 million at the box office and sold tens of thousands of DVDs and digital streams. The filmmakers have been touring the nation by bus, the Vaxxed tour, and have recorded nearly ten thousand vaccine injury stories. Robert DeNiro, one of Tribeca Film Festival’s founders, who originally advocated for the film, famously said on national television, “I think the movie is something that people should see.”
Vaxxed was scheduled to have a European premiere on Thursday, February 9th at the European Parliament in Brussels as part of a Parliament sponsored discussion on vaccine safety organized by French MEP Michèle Rivasi. Due to a disinformation campaign led by a small, but vocal, opposition group with purported ties to the pharmaceutical industry, European deputies made the decision to censor the film and prevent it from screening at the Parliament. Both the screening and this unprecedented all-day vaccine safety debate with leading vaccination experts and scientific professionals from several European countries was moved to Espace Lumen and took place on February 9th. More information can be found here: https://www.suretevaccins.com
MEP Rivasi had also scheduled a screening of the film in Paris on Monday, February 13th as part of a vaccine safety debate with leading vaccination experts and scientific professionals to take place at City Hall in the 2nd arrondissement. Yesterday, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, cancelled that screening without even seeing the film. The screening and the vaccine safety debate have been moved to an alternate venue and will continue as originally planned.
Last week, the Curzon Cinemas in London censored the film by cancelling what would have been the Tuesday, February 14th U.K. premiere after buckling to pressure from the same opposition group with propertied ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The February 14th London premiere of Vaxxed has also been moved to another venue, and will continue as planned.
“It is deplorable that the Mayor of Paris and some members of the European Parliament caved to the pressure of a small cadre of zealots, without having seen the film or having asked to see it. It’s even more deplorable that major press outlets like Le Monde or The Times embrace the polemic created from scratch by the pharmaceutical industries for the last 20 years to prevent a real study on vaccine safety. The reason for the fuss is due to the film’s director, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who questioned the safety of the MMR vaccine in 1998, which challenged the multi billion dollar revenue streams of Glaxo-Kline-Smith and Merck who hold the major share of the MMR vaccine market in the U.K. and U.S. This resulted in an unwarranted, coordinated smear campaign against Dr. Wakefield in the U.K. that is still present today,” says Philippe Diaz, Chairman of Cinema Libre Studio, the distributor of Vaxxed.
With a worldwide network of vaccine safety activists, organizations and whistleblowers in the U.K. and Europe including the European Forum for Vaccine Vigilance (EFFV/UK), Info Vaccin Prevenar (France) and Mrs. Senta Depuydt (Belgium), Cinema Libre Studio will continue to move forward with the release of Vaxxed in the U.S., the U.K. and worldwide, to help aid open discussions about vaccine safety.
Vaxxed is produced by British filmmaker Polly Tommey of the Autism Media Channel and Del Bigtree, an American and former producer of the hit show “The Doctors.”
Vaxxed director Wakefield says, “The film is about self-confessed fraud in MMR vaccine safety science by Dr. William Thompson, a Senior Scientist from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC scientists concealed a causal association between MMR vaccine and autism, and destroyed documents to cover their tracks. The film is not about myself, although it supports my original research. The UK’s General Medical Council’s conduct and conclusions in respect to my 1998 Lancet paper have been heavily criticized and comprehensively overturned by the English High Court.”
Wakefield is a British academic gastroenterologist who, with Dr. John Walker-Smith, one of the world’s leading pediatric gastroenterologists, was the first to postulate that there was a causal link between gut problems in regressive autistic patients and vaccines. They, along with 11 other authors, published their findings in The Lancet, a British medical journal, in February 1998. At a press conference in support of the publication, Wakefield suggested using the single measles, mumps and rubella shots, instead of the bundled three shot MMR, until further studies could be done. Upon hearing this information, some parents elected to forgo the vaccines and a media uproar ensued.
In 2010, the British General Medical Council (GMC), decided that Dr. Wakefield and his co-author had acted unethically, and they lost their licenses to practice. Both Dr. Wakefield and Professor Walker-Smith appealed the GMC ruling in the English High Court. Professor Walker-Smith’s professional insurance paid for his appeal. Dr. Wakefield’s insurance carrier did not, therefore Dr. Wakefield was not able to continue his appeal.
In 2012, after reviewing the original findings, Justice Mitting found that the GMC’s conclusions were “based on inadequate and superficial reasoning” and that “the finding of serious professional misconduct and the sanction of erasure are both quashed.” All charges against him were dismissed and Dr. Walker-Smith’s license was completely reinstated.
With identical charges, Wakefield’s license should also have been reinstated, if legal expenses had not prevented it.
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- Robert De Niro debates autism’s link to vaccines on TODAY Show: http://www.today.com/popculture/robert-deniro-debates-autism-s-link-vaccines-today-show-t86136
- Additional coverage can be found here: HTTP://VAXXEDTHEMOVIE.COM/PRESS/
Jamie Coker Robertson
Beth Portello, Cinema Libre Studio